To attend space camp and achieve her ambition, a girl aims to win the science fair in this children’s book.
Fifth grader Cassie Williams has one big dream: “to be the first director in space.” She practices by reporting on her life and recording it with her phone camera, but filmmaking chops won’t be enough; she needs to become an astronaut. An essential first step is going to space camp this summer, but her parents won’t send her if she doesn’t get good grades in science—something of a problem since she hates the subject. She doesn’t want to hear her best friend Wylie Keller’s advice: “You have to know science to go into space. That’s the way it is.” But when Cassie’s father loses his job, space camp is off the table. Unless, that is, Cassie can win the school science fair and earn a scholarship. It’s a big challenge, but she’s determined to persevere and reach her goal despite sabotage by her brother and other obstacles. Reed speaks to kids who feel bored or overwhelmed by all things scientific and would rather, like Cassie, daydream or doodle through class. The story serves as a clever, entertaining, and demystifying framing device to explain every step involved in putting together a science-fair project. Girls, especially, get a role model for studying STEM. But a few details feel wrong; for example, Cassie has the same teacher for all subjects. It’s also puzzling that Cassie’s brothers go almost unpunished for destroying her work twice over. A list of resources provides further information. The playful monochrome illustrations resemble a more refined version of Cassie’s doodles.
Useful, entertaining, and encouraging; will inspire confidence and an appreciation of science.
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 218
Publisher: Keyes Canyon Press
Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2020