Ellie, Engineer

by Jackson Pearce

Hardcover, 2018



Local notes

PB Pea




Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2018), 192 pages


When Ellie, who loves to invent and build things, decides to build a doghouse as a gift, she needs to get past the boys-against-the-girls neighborhood feud and ask for help.


Original language


Physical description

192 p.; 5.75 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Staciele
Ellie is a smart, young girl who likes "boy stuff" and "girl stuff". She likes to build and create things, play soccer, get dirty, wear pretty skirts (with her tool belt, of course), and have tea parties with her best friend, Kit. Ellie has a notebook where she keeps track of all her projects
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including the water balloon launcher (which was a hit) and the French Braider (which was not a hit). Ellie likes to draw out her ideas first in her notepad and use materials found in her workshop or parents' garage (of course, always getting permission first). Her workshop is part of her swingset and holds all her favorite tools.

Ellie and Kit are excited about Kit's upcoming birthday tea party when they overhear (thanks to one of Ellie's contraptions) about Kit's present. That gives Ellie the perfect gift idea. But, she isn't sure she can pull it off by herself and keep it a secret from Kit at the same time. She enlists some help from some friends but the secrets get to be too much and instead of having fun, everyone gets mad. The day of the party arrives and Ellie decides to ask for everyone's forgiveness and to pitch in to finish the project.

I absolutely love this creative and fun story of Ellie and her friends. She is a bright girl with lots of ideas and will be inspiring to girls to create their own ideas. She teaches that it is ok to be friends with boys and girls and like all kinds of things. There are drawing in the book of Ellie's ideas and both in the beginning stages and finished. Ellie has some misses and that is important for kids to realize it is okay to make mistakes and keep trying.

This chapter book is the perfect level for middle-grade readers. There are lots of little problems to solve and silly things that happen to keep kids interested. There are also friendship dilemmas that offer lessons for kids when dealing with their own issues. I think Pearce has created a wonderful concept for a series and it is one I could see girls and boys enjoying!
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LibraryThing member mcelhra
Ellie loves to solve problems by building solutions. For instance, when the neighborhood boys won’t let Ellie and her friend Kit join in their soccer game, she designs and builds a water balloon launcher and soaks them! When she hears that Kit’s mom is going to get Kit a dog for her birthday
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she decides to build her a dog house for her birthday present. It’s going to be her biggest project yet and will require help from a lot of other kids. Can she keep this project a secret from her very best friend until Kit’s birthday party?

This book incorporated a STEM aspect into it without hitting the reader over the head with it or getting too technical for the intended age group – two through fourth grade. Ellie loves projects but she’s a well-rounded kid with tons of personality. She likes tea parties too. I liked that before she started a project, she sketched it out and that the sketch was included in the book. That’s really helpful for readers like me that have trouble picturing those types of things in their heads. I’ve never seen a home-made French braider before! There is also a handy dandy illustrated glossary of tools at the end. I think this book will appeal to girls and boys alike, no matter how handy they themselves actually are. It’s a great story that shows that girls can be into more than just dolls and tea parties. Highly recommended.
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(5 ratings; 4.4)
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