In a few sweet words, Niko Staten speaks out for women in technology. Not every girl wants to be frilly, but that doesn’t make her less of a girl. This is a message that is more important now than ever, the fact that technology is gender-neutral and the domain of all who are drawn to it.
Now, does Staten say all of this in her book? Not in so many words. The story is about one girl, Ember, who wants to wear a robot costume to school instead of a tutu. The best way to get someone behind a cause is to narrow the struggle to one person and what that individual goes through. If you care about one person, it’s no longer a nebulous ’cause’. It is a flesh and blood person being held back from realizing their potential, and who wants to be the jerk who does that? Instead of shaking a finger at closed-minded people, Staten presents the emotional impact of such behavior. What’s more, she presents the solution in the form of a teacher who leads by example.
Sonya Craig’s illustrations are downright cuddly, not to mention the racial diversity of the characters. I loved that the diversity is simply there without being the crux of the story. Great book for K-3 girls, and for the little girl in all women. I don’t have any kids, but I learned a lot from this book for myself. It’s a classic.