- Authors: Erin Twamley & Joshua Sneideman
- Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
- Publication year: 2019
- Age range: 8-10 years
- Number of pages: 88
“Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers” by Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman, a non-fiction book with full color illustrations, is meant to make kids, and especially girls, excited about STEM careers.
The book covers 26 careers in STEM, one for each alphabet letter. Every career is introduced together with some related concepts and tools as well as a case of a modern woman in this career. There is also an introduction to six STEM skills (observation, collaboration, imagination and curiosity, problem solving, data collection and analysis, and communication) at the beginning of the book. Each STEM skill (or STEM superpower) has a list of related instruments and one or two examples of women using the skill in their STEM-related work.
What I especially liked about this book:
- It includes many new career paths that are less known to the general public (e.g. weatherization technician or director of sustainability).
- It is interactive, containing many questions to the readers and making them think and take action by drawing or writing their ideas and thoughts. This is a great way to spark kids’ curiosity and imagination.
- It contains a lot of curious facts about the past and more recent discoveries and inventions made by women.
- The backgrounds of the women featured are very diverse: they come from different world regions and disciplines.
- There are quite a few careers related to environmental protection, climate change and green energy, which are some of the current challenges that kids should be aware of and interested to tackle.
- It breaks a common myth about scientists working mostly in labs and shows that STEM is everywhere.
- There is a glossary of the terms mentioned throughout the book.
What could be improved:
- The book makes references to some specific brands and companies, while generic descriptions would have been more appropriate, in my opinion, to make the content less prone to getting outdated or even considered sponsored (which I don’t believe is true).
- Some careers presented in the book are not clearly associated with STEM, though may benefit from STEM knowledge and skills (e.g. environmental lawyer or fashion designer).
- Some questions to the readers may not be relatable to all kids, such as those about mobile apps, online shopping experience or step-tracking software, as many kids don’t own cell phones and don’t buy stuff online.
- There is an inconsistency in the dates of the creation of the first map of the stars by four Vatican nuns: in one place it is between 1887-1889, while in the other it is 1910.
Overall, it is a good non-fiction book introducing kids to amazing STEM careers that may spark their first interest in STEM.