Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ellie, Engineer by acclaimed YA & MG author Jackson Pearce

ISBN: 978-1-6811-9519-3
Hardcover $15.99
My thoughts: Girls will love reading about the interesting things in which Ellie and her friend Kit involve themselves. Most of it is pretty standard tween stuff but some of it is pretty much off the wall because Ellie is quite an unusual girl. She envisions solutions and those solutions are things she makes or builds. She is a tool-weilding, solution-finding, object-building, girly friend to have around.

Parents today are afforded the opportunity in today's world to raise their boys and girls to be creative individuals who can use their minds and talents to achieve in whatever they have an interest. Typically boys were guided toward the manly professions and girls were guided toward the pursuit of becoming skilled homemakers and loving mothers. Nothing is wrong with any of that. However, some girls have the ability to pursue careers involving the sciences and mathematics. In fact, they can also be loving parents as well as career professionals.

Just what is STEM?

STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work.... (source: a general search of Google)
By reading stories such as Ellie, Engineer young girls can see how they can engage in activities in which they are interested and still remain true to themselves. They don't have to be a sterotyped cookie cutter person. They can pursue their interest in the study of chemistry, science, biology, earth science or mechanical, electrical, or any other form of engineering. They can become a performing artist in the field of dance or music or they can develop their talents in these fields for their own personal pleasure while becoming a career professional in another field such as medicine, the legal field, or whatever. Or they can become the world's greatest wife and mother and stay home in that pursuit.

Ellie, Engineer is a cute story brimming with typically joyful young girl interactions with friends and family. A girl who loves being girly and who loves to work with tools creating original items that
could conceivably be precursers of a professional career in design.

Now about the text and book itself: The text is written in a style that will capture the interest of the tween reader. That is to say it isn't too "easy" and it isn't complicated behond their interest or ability. The illustrations are quite simple are adequate. In light of the fact that as young readers' skills develop and their books evolve from picture book to chapter book to novel, their books have fewer and less involved illustrations. This allows the reader to mentally visualize the story completely in his or her mind processing word meanings, descriptions, scenes, actions, and characters. It is the ultimate goal of literacy to enable the reader to experience the entire story as he or she processes it in the quiet of the mind.

I think the book is a good book for tweens to read and that they will enjoy it.

About the book: Ellie loves to build. She’s always engineering new creations with the help of her imagination and her best friend Kit. Unfortunately, with Kit’s birthday just around the corner, the French-braiding machine Ellie built turns out to be more of a hair-knotting machine. What’s Ellie going to do? Luckily, the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about Kit’s surprise – it must be the dog she’s always wanted! Ellie is struck with inspiration: she’ll build Kit the best doghouse ever! The project quickly becomes more than just a present for Kit – it builds a bridge between Ellie and those bothersome neighbor boys, as well as the other handy girls in her class.

Designed to look like Ellie’s notepad, with pencil-on-graph-paper illustrations of her projects interspersed throughout the book, Ellie, Engineer inspires creative and crafty girls to get hands-on with their imagination. Ellie’s projects range from the simple (using a glass against a wall to amplify sounds), to the practical (the doghouse), to the fantastical (a bedroom security system featuring spikes) – encouraging readers to start small but think big. Ellie’s parents support her engineering experiments, with important safety tips sprinkled throughout, and her relationship with Kit is a glowing example of positive female friendship. They share their hobbies – Ellie likes to get her hands dirty, while Kit prefers ballet – reminding readers that there’s no wrong way to be a girl. Ellie’s hand-drawn tool guide at the end explains basic tools in accessible terms, rounding out this fun and funny adventure, and giving girls everything they need to be their own Ellie!

About the Author: Jackson Pearce lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of a series of teen retold fairy-tales, including Sisters Red, Sweetly, Fathomless, and Cold Spell, as well as two stand-alones, As You Wish and Purity. As J. Nelle Patrick, she is the author of Tsarina. In addition to The Doublecross and The Inside Job, her middle grade novels include Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures, co-written with Maggie Stiefvater. Visit her at and @JacksonPearce (Twitter and Instagram).

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary paperback copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are my own and are freely given.


  1. I think my girls would really enjoy this book! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!


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