Ada Twist, Scientist

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Ada Twist, Scientist Book Poster Image
Inquisitive girl pursues science in fun, lively story.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Introduces the concept of hypothesis. Models scientific investigation and asking questions about the world. Art pictures beakers, vials, goggles, and so on. Ada writes pictorial formulas on wall. Pictures of planets.

Positive Messages

Girls and kids of color can excel at science. Parents can support their kids in their interests even if they don't initially understand them. Kids and parents can recover from misunderstandings. Passionate interests win out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You couldn't find a better role model than Ada, a girl of color who's passionately focused about science. Her parents, too, are great role models, gently reminding parents to support their kids' interests.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ada Twist, Scientist  is by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts (Rosie Revere, Engineer), who've hit on a winning formula in their series of books about kids with serious professional ambitions. The message of this one, about a girl of color who's a budding scientist, is delivered in lively rhyme, and the pictures of irrepressible Ada with her ballooning pom-pom hair suiting up in goggles to single-mindedly conduct her experiments speak volumes. Want to encourage your daughter in her STEM interests? You couldn't do better than this book.

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What's the story?

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST is a young girl with a passion for science. Though she doesn't say a word till she's 3 (shades of Albert Einstein, who spoke first at age 4), she's always investigating the world around her, and when she does start to talk, a torrent of questions spews forth. Her family tries to support and accommodate her curiosity, even when she follows her nose, single-mindedly investigating the source of a bad smell, and turns the house upside-down. But putting the cat in the washer is the last straw, and her parents send her to "the Thinking Chair." Instead of rethinking her behavior, Ada writes scientific formulas all over the wall, and her parents decide to help her: "Because that's what you do when your kid has a passion." Ada continues her investigation, involving her class in her experiment.

Is it any good?

This serious romp of a book about a girl of color who's a born, passionate scientist, asking a host of questions about the world around her, breaks fun, fresh ground. The eponymous Ada Twist, Scientist is curious about everything and leaves a trail of chaos in the wake of her tireless investigations, initially confounding her parents. The rhyme is easy-breezy, and the art is just as fun. Ada lives in a rarified neighborhood where a neighboring house has a heliport and her parents dress to the nines. Her older brother follows her across the pages pointing at her in bafflement, and a spread of Ada's class includes pictures of characters with whom readers may be familiar from the author and illustrator's previous books.

Ada's parents roll with the daughter they're dealt -- when she asks repeated questions, they assure her, "You'll figure it out." And when they themselves start to wonder, "What would they do with this curious kid?" they think, "We'll figure it out" -- a supportive and happy message for kids and parents alike.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the questions Ada has in Ada Twist, Scientist. Do you have questions about the world and how it works? How can you investigate them?

  • When Ada wonders, "What is the source of that terrible stinking?," what do you think the smell is? Look at the art when she first smells the smell.

  • After Ada's parents send her to "the Thinking Chair," how is their misunderstanding resolved? When you have misunderstandings with your parents, how do you resolve them?

Book details

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For kids who love books for kids who love science and picture books

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