The Trouble with Ants (The Nora Notebooks, Book 1) by Claudia Mills, illustrated by Katie Kath

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers 

Summary: Nora’s parents and two older siblings are all scientists, and Nora knows that she is going to grow up to be a scientist, too. Her field of study is ants, and she keeps careful notes on her ant farm. Some of her friends think ants are gross, but this doesn’t deter Nora from continuing her studies. One of her experiments proves so interesting that she decides to write up her results and send them to Nature. A few weeks later, she gets a kindly rejection letter, which makes her consider giving up on her ants forever. Fortunately, a school assignment results in her writing a persuasive essay about girls studying science, her teacher sends it to the local paper, and Nora becomes a published author at last. Grades 2-4.

Pros: It’s refreshing to find a girl protagonist who is passionate about science, while at the same time enjoying basketball and a large group of friends. Fans of Judy Blume or Megan McDonald will want to get acquainted with Nora.

Cons: This is one of those books that you know kids would enjoy, but that lacks a flashy hook to get them to pick it up.

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