For younger girls
Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell (ages 3-8)
Patrick McDonnell has created a wonderful illustrated book telling the story of a young Jane Goodall, a girl fascinated by the natural world around her. With her toy chimpanzee Jubilee, Jane learns to observe animals and decides to dedicate her life to helping them. The book also includes a picture of the grown-up Dr. Jane Goodall alongside a group of chimpanzees to show young girls that they too have the power to achieve their dreams. Dr. Goodall is one of the most famous wildlife conservation figures of all time and has been an inspiration to women scientists for decades – so let her inspire your little girls too!
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beatty (ages 5-7)
Rosie is a quiet girl by day and an inventor of gadgets at night. When her aunt, the famed Rosie the Riveter, comes to visit, she laments never having fulfilled her dream of flying. This is but a new challenge for little Rosie, who sets out building the magnificent flying machine, the heli-o-cheese-copter… The machine only manages to get off the ground before crashing down, but Rosie’s aunt wisely tells her that she didn’t fail – only quitting would be failure. Andrea Beatty’s story about this curious young engineer teaches young girls to never give up.
100 Science Experiments by Georgina Andrews and Kate Knighton (ages 6-8)
What a better way to show young girls that science can be fun than by setting up your own own science lab at home? Andrews and Knighton bring together 100 fun, easy and safe experiments that teach the basics of physics, chemistry and biology in a practical, hands-on manner. Materials for the experiments are easy to source in the household, and the accompanying guide is designed to clearly explain the scientific principles behind the experiments.
For older girls
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (ages 12 up)
Calpurnia is a curious 11-year-old living in Texas at the end of the 19th century. She adores exploring the natural world around her, rather than spending her time on the typical homely hobbies expected of girls at the time. With the help of her grandfather, she solves the mystery of why the yellow grasshoppers in her back garden are much bigger than the green ones (hint: the grass in her yard is yellow and can disguise the yellow creatures). This award-winning book is a wonderful tale of a young woman who must convince the world that girls can do science too.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (ages 13 and up)
Cinder is a fairy-tale for the imaginative, science-loving, 21st century girl. The heroine of this story is a talented mechanic who is half-cyborg, fighting her prejudiced step-family in a futuristic world where androids roam the streets and lunar beings are waiting to invade the earth. When intergalactic chaos threatens to break out, it’s up to Cinder to save the day. This gripping and wonderful read is a must for any teenage girl dreaming about the cosmos!
(Titre en français : Cinder)
Do you know any other must-read books for girls interested in science? Let us know @4womeninscience.