The Road Too Well-Traveled

Everyone that knows me, knows I’m all about girl empowerment, and not just talking about it. I know that nothing happens if all we do is talk about something. Change rarely results from a statement. Change requires action. And although there are many areas where I feel change is well-overdue, one that is near and dear to my heart is changing the stereotypes that math is for boys and that smart girls are socially awkward. Why? Because as a female engineer who worked for years in highly technical industry, sadly, I know that these paradigms can affect a girl’s choices.

If we can change those prehistoric misconceptions and get girls to believe that they too have a place in the world of STEM then we can power this country by tapping into some of the brightest and innovative minds in the world – the minds of our girls!

So, when it comes to doing math, we really need to stop the “That’s ok, girls are better at other things” and/or “I was never good at math either” messages. Those messages are a hall passes to the road too well-traveled, the road that is keeping girls away from STEM careers, away from math and away from science. Instead, encourage girls and challenge them with math. Point girls down the the road less traveled – the road to STEM! Visit A Mighty Girl for stories about incredible women in STEM and check out their recommendations for girl empowering books and toys.

Even though this is old news, it’s not that old, and it bears repeating…

STEM

 

Back in May President Obama hosted and actively engaged in the White Houses’ fourth annual Science Fair, “where more than 100 students exhibited their science projects and experiments from previously won technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions across the country.”

 

“The White House chose to highlight girls and their inventions at the fair because Obama had stressed the importance of more females majoring in STEM fields in college and working in these industries after they graduate. Among Tuesday’s displays were a “concussion cushion” designed by Maria Hanes, 19, of Santa Cruz, Calif. Hanes, who wants to be the first female collegiate head football coach, invented a football helmet with gel and memory foam inserts that can better prevent concussions.”

At the Science Fair, “Obama also focused on the importance of girls taking STEM classes and women pursuing science and math in college. According to a study by the American Association of University Women, girls and boys take STEM classes at the same rates in high school. But that changes drastically when women enroll in college and start their careers. Only 25 percent of women in college major in STEM classes, and 24 percent of the STEM workforce is women.”

Read the whole story here:

http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/05/28/obamas-white-house-science-fair

The White House is doing their part.
And by writing girl empowering picture books, sharing girl empowering stories (online and in real life) and providing math tutoring to girls who find themselves struggling (or better yet, working ahead), I’m doing my part. (Although I continually strive to do more in this area.)
See what part you can play, see what you can do to empower a girl…

 

Poetic techniques in a PB

I’ve always been a fan of figurative language. Ahh…the alliteration, assonance, consonance….I just can’t get enough of it.

One of my all-time favorite picture books is Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra and when I finally broke it down and analyzed its poetic techniques, I realized why.

BB

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf

by Judy Sierra

The story begins with Miss Wonderly inviting the Big Bad  Wolf to the library to tell the story of how he met the three little pigs. But, when he does, not everyone agrees with his version of the story.

 

Judy Sierra uses figurative language, repetition, and rhyme to enhance the story and even includes references other stories to add humor.  The lines in this book are so fun to read and so clever – making Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf a poetic playground!

Here are just a few of the great lines filled with alliteration, assonance, consonance, and a bit of rhyme. (there were too many examples to feature, so I skipped a few)
“At the library, Miss Wonderly led B.B. Wolf to a cozy chair in the story corner.  B.B. started off with a song.”

Wrong!” squeaked a little voice. Your middle name is B-A-D”

Song, and Wrong and little and middle add a  nice rhythm through rhyme.

Later the wolf says,
“All of a sudden, I smelled smoke. I followed my nose and found another little piggy playing with matches next to a pile of sticks.”

Then to add some humor (especially for the adult reader) Pinocchio remarks,
“Isn’t that wolf’s snout getting longer?” which is funny since the wolf is obviously lying.

And even more humor, when the Little Engine exclaims, “I think it is. I think it is.”

And there’s repetition, where the pigs repeatedly oink, “Tell the Truth B.B. Wolf!”

After the wolf tells the truth he vows to change his name,
“ ’Goodness gracious!’ exclaimed B.B. Wolf. ‘I need a new middle name, don’t I?’ He snagged a dictionary from the library shelf and pawed through the pages.”

And later,
“ ‘That’s it! said the wolf. ‘From this day forward I am the one and only Big Bodacious Benevolent Bookish Wolf. In fact, I’ll borrow some books right now.”

And (in an awesome line) assonance..
“ ‘ Toodle-oo! He called to the three pigs.’ See you in a few weeks!’ “

And in the end,

“ ‘Friends,’ said the former menace, ‘it’s not enough for me to say I’m sorry. I have to prove it and repair my reputation. Here is your very own piggyback mansion.’ ”

I love this book more than I did before – the figurative language used in Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf is fabulous!!!!

 

Fabulous Finishes

FABULOUS FINISH #8

JAM

Just Another Morning

by Linda Ashman

 

 

Right away, this book starts out with “I find myself inside a zoo,” letting you know you’re in for some fun. From the moment the boy escapes the ape, then confronts a monster, wrestles a snake and joins the circus, he takes the reader  on a non-stop adventure. In the end, when he’s captured by giants (parents) and given magic sleeping punch he finally takes a nap, only to wake up and once again declare “I find myself inside a zoo…”

I love the juxtaposition of the boy’s action-packed adventure and his peaceful rest and how the ending brings the reader back to the beginning– GREAT LOOP!