Rosie Revere, Engineer
by Andrea Beaty
When I picked up a copy of this book a few months ago in a museum gift shop, I never thought it would become such a large source of inspiration for me in my day-to-day life. I wanted to share it as my first review on this blog because it is a powerful book in every way: it engages readers, tells a strong message, and draws you in through beautiful language.
Rosie Revere, Engineer tells the story of Rosie, a second grade student who loves to invent and create. Rosie tries to forget that love after one of her inventions is laughed at by her family. Eventually, her great-great-Aunt Rose (who adults may recognize as Rosie the Riveter) gives her cause to create a new invention. Rosie questions whether she has the skill and talent to build such a machine, but steps past her fear and creates a new contraption to help her Aunt Rose fly. When she tries it out, things don’t quite go as planned – but Aunt Rose steps in to teach Rosie some valuable lessons about failure and how to bounce back from it.
I loved this book because it has a very strong lesson that gets across to students: finding what you love and embracing your passion means trying over and over again. However, the strong lesson of this book is only strengthened by the beautiful language used to tell the story. I’ve included some of my favorite quotes from the book below so that you can see just how memorable Beaty’s words are.
Another great asset to this book is its illustrations. David Roberts creates pages kids can investigate for hours, discovering more and more within the drawings. Take a look:
“But questions are tricky, and some hold on tight,
and this one kept Rosie awake through the night.”
On never giving up:
“Life might have it’s failures, but this was not it.
The only true failure can come if you quit.”
On first tries:
“Your brilliant first flop was a raging success!
Come on, let’s get busy and on to the next!”
This book is very well suited to the 1st to 3rd Grade age bracket, although it can be used in later grades as well! I read this book to my third grade students as we started working on our science fair projects this year. Much to my surprise, many of the students had already read the book at home. Of the students who had read it, many said it was a favorite of theirs. My students soon fell in love with Rosie and her perseverance. Throughout the science fair, students were okay with failing because they knew they were learning from it. The lesson this book taught them was so powerful that some of the girls who hadn’t previously shown an interest in science said they wanted to be like Rosie. Students started inventing things at home and telling me stories of their creations and ideas. Just reading the book once as a quick read aloud made a huge impact on the learners in my classroom.
Other suggestions for using Rosie Revere, Engineer in your classroom include:
- Introducing the historical figure of Rosie the Riveter. The book includes lots of meaningful information about the history of women in aviation with a look into Aunt Rose’s journal. A historical note at the back of the text tells a little bit more about Rosie the Riveter. When used in conjunction with other texts, this book can do a great job of tying up the lessons Americans learned from Rosie the Riveter as an icon.
- Use of strong adjectives. One of my favorite sentences reads: “He laughed till he wheezed and his eyes filled with tears, all to the horror of Rosie Revere, who stood there embarrassed, perplexed, and dismayed.” This book is a great example of how to use adjectives other than “happy,” “sad,” “angry,” and others to describe feelings, and could be used as a mentor text for the writers in your classroom.
Title: Rosie Revere, Engineer
Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Price: US $16.95
Source: Personal Collection