Primary Genre(s): Middle Grade, Chapter Book, Fiction
Published: 16 April 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
Page count: 112
My Format: Audiobook via Hoopla Digital
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants
My rating: ★★★★☆
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?
More love for the Questioneers! If you haven’t figured out by now, I really like these books by Andrea Beaty! There are picture books for young children (Rosie Revere, Engineer; Ada Twist, Scientist; and Iggy Peck, Architect) and there are chapter books for older children like the one I am reviewing today and Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters. These are fun and absolutely adorable STEM books! Here are my pros and cons for Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants:
- In this book, Ada has to use her scientific knowledge to figure out how to save Rosie’s Uncle Ned from flying away in his helium pants and get him back down to Earth! It is a fun and silly premise that kids will like.
- This book emphasizes how to scientists have to work to solves problems and make discoveries. For example, in the story Ada tries to determine if hot things smell more than cold things. She hypothesizes that hot things will smell more. So she sets up an experiment with her brother’s stinky shoes. She chills one shoe (with popsicles – LOL) and she warms up the other shoe (with fresh boiled eggs). Then she conducts her test by smelling the shoes as they heat up and cool down. She knows that she has to run the test multiple times in order to arrive at a verifiable result and she keeps diligent records of her findings. While the specific experiment Ada is conducting is meant to be silly and interesting to kids, she actually does exactly what she needs to do in order to test her hypothesis. It is a cute and relatable introduction to basic principles of scientific experiment.
- For the record, hot shoes stink way more than cold shoes and Ada explains why by talking about heat, pressure, gases, diffusion/movement of molecules, and olfactory receptor neurons. She gets quite technical!
- I thought it was cute that Ada keeps a compass and a tape measure handy at all times in case she ever needs to record data.
- Like the Rosie Revere chapter book I reviewed a couple of days ago, this book also emphasizes teamwork. Ada and her friends all work together to help save Uncle Ned from floating away in his helium pants!
- Ada ultimately saves the day by applying what she learned in the stinky shoe experiment to the Uncle Ned problem. I absolutely loved that the story applied the principles of moving molecules and heat versus cold to two entirely different situations. I think that helps kids to understand how science principles can be applied in many different situations.
- There is a cute poem at the end of the book called Ode to a Gas. HA!
- The audiobook version of this book was great!
- This book really did get into quite a few scientific principles and Ada talked a lot about them. I personally loved it, but I fear the extent of it might cause some kids to lose interest. This is a super minor nitpick and I actually hope I am 100% wrong that kids may lose interest.
At the risk of sounding repetitive with my other reviews of STEM books, you really should get this book if you have a child that loves to experiment and learn about science. This entire series is great for any child that seems to be leaning in the STEM direction.
I’ll keep reading these books as long as Andrea Beaty keeps writing them. I am an old engineer now, but I still love fun STEM books!
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(image from Goodreads)