Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rosie Revere, Engineer

(The following review is written by our shiny new guest blogger, Marilyn, who is a Children's Associate here at MPL.)

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

From a young age Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming an engineer. She would create ingenious inventions using pieces and parts she had found in the trash. Rosie happily shares her inventions with her adoring aunts and uncles. She invents a machine for one of her favorite uncles, but when it malfunctions he laughs in her face. Embarrassed, Rosie hides her inventions away and keeps to herself.

One day Rosie’s great-great-great aunt Rose comes for a visit. Rose, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Rosie the Riveter, tells Rosie stories of her work constructing airplanes when she was young. Her only dream left is to fly. Rosie, feeling inspired, begins building a flying machine for her aunt. She spends all day building the machine in her back yard. But when she takes it for a test run it falls to the ground, right in front of her aunt. Her aunt laughs and gives Rosie a big hug, congratulating Rosie on her first step to success. She encourages Rosie to keep trying because, “life might have its failures, but this was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit.” Rosie gets back to building and inspires her classmates to come up with their own inventions.

After finishing this book I wanted to run around, reading it to every young girl I encountered. This book proudly proclaims that math and science are for girls too.  And can we just talk about how smart Rosie is? She made all of her inventions from things she found in the trash! Talk about creativity. In a time when it seems like there are princesses looming around every corner, waiting to strike with a tidal wave of pink and sparkles, this book comes as a breath of fresh air.

What I love most about this book is that it shows what powerful impact adults can have on children and how impressionable a young girl can be. It broke my heart to see little Rosie staring in horror as her uncle laughed at her invention. And it brought a smile to my face to see how her aunt Rose inspired Rosie, who in turn inspired her class. Positivity is power, people!

If you like this book, Andrea Beaty also wrote Iggy Peck, Architect, which also celebrates creativity and individuality. Another good read is Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen, which is similar to Rosie with a very creative, misunderstood girl. And finally, how about Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen, about all the different types of princesses in the world, even if they wear stinky socks and play baseball with their friends.


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