Melia and Jo — 18 Comments

  1. It’s time to add this STEM/STEAM book to our shelves. The fun storyline with friendship and learning will hit close to home for so many. The trials and tribulations of solving problems together and working it out is real life for kids. I can’t wait to ‘hook’ my student son these characters and this can model writing their own personal narratives in the classroom. 4 of 5 stars.

  2. This was a fun book. I did think the differences between the two girls was a bit cliched, but it does what it was meant to do for the age range it was written for. I loved the STEAM elements, and the teamwork shown in the story. It is a great way to get kids thinking about everyday objects differently, and shows that not everyone sees everything the same way. I also enjoyed the paper airplane instructions in the back of the book.

  3. A good STEAM book is always a good addition to a library. I liked the illustrations. The blueprint end papers were fun. I found the text font boring and less than creative which set a bad tone for me at the start. The story seemed forced. The idea behind the story was good – cooperation, different perspectives working together, etc. I would include in my STEAM display but not as a class read aloud.

  4. Despite its’ seeming forced or contrived STEM/STEAM message, I really enjoyed this story. Like mmeisinger indicated this would be a great book to read immediately prior to our first engineering design challenge. An added bonus would be the fact that this would be early in our school year and I would then also tap into the messages of friendship and acceptance between very different people. This is one that I would add to my library and suggest it be included in our school library.

  5. I appreciate how this book promotes teamwork and encourages an appreciation and understanding of others’ learning styles and abilities. Friendship comes in so many ways and this book illustrates that we do not always find friendship with people who are only like us. The pictures didn’t captivate me as some do, but they illustrate the story well and this book would be appropriate for all ages. 4/5 stars.

  6. I liked how this book reinforced how important it is to get to know and collaborate with people who look at life in a different way than you do. The illustrations are very colorful and engaging andI am sure my students would be drawn in by them. I also thought that the STEM/STEAM message was a bit preachy and there are many other good books in that genre, however this book definitely belongs in the media center collection. I am not sure if I would use it as a classroom read since there are so many other good books in the girls in STEM genre, however I think it would be an excellent tool to teach about collaborative work. 3/5

  7. I like the creativity of the story using each girls strengths and interests to make a better creation. This would make both a good read aloud and individual read. Sometimes you don’t have to love the same things to find common ground-good reinforcement for our students! The story did a great job of combing science and the arts in a fun way. 5 of 5 stars.

  8. I think our STEM teacher could use this book to model the STEM process of going back and making improvements to projects. That is something that it’s not always easy to convince students to do…they often think that once the do something, it’s DONE. I think it could also be used to start a conversation about how to work WITH someone on a project…at first the two of them don’t communicate and that’s where the frustration comes from…so I appreciated that at the end it talked about Jo not making changes without talking to Melia first. My students are fortunate to have time as a specialist class to work on STEM projects, so these ideas would not be new to them…but I think it would be worth sharing with them.

  9. I really liked this book. I like the idea that these girls find a way to use their different view points to come up new ways to use objects. This would be a great book to read just before partnering students together to work on a science project. I give this book a 4/5.

  10. I could see myself using this story at the beginning of the year to introduce the fact that each student is different in what they like to do, but when you put their passions together something magical can happen. I do a lot of small group and project work and would use this book to show them how combining everyone’s skills and ideas can make a difference. The idea that friendships can happen with those who have different interests is a good lesson for 2nd graders.

  11. Overall I enjoyed this book, but I did feel that it was a little too “preachy” about the power of STEAM education. I believe that kids don’t need to be told that the skills used in STEAM fields are useful and valuable, but rather need to be given the opportunities to develop those skills and grow their interests. It also seems to me that the book portrayed Melia’s and Jo’s characters as being stagnant — Melia is good at STEM things and Jo is good at the arts, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it will be. I wish there would have been a message geared more towards practicing and honing those STEAM skills rather than owning the ones you’ve been gifted.

    I did like how Melia’s and Jo’s characters were seemingly opposites, and how their perspectives helped the other see the world in a completely different way. Thinking flexibly, along with other habits of mind, are also important skills for students to have opportunities to practice. I think if I were to use this book with students, I would focus more on the habits of mind rather than the STEAM skills as I develop my lessons.

    Overall rating: 3/5

  12. This team is really an example of “opposites attract.” Melia could just stay annoyed by Jo and not be open to Jo’s way of looking at things. Jo could dismiss Melia’s inventions and more serious personality. Instead, they both saw the worth in the other person. While not the best literary example, it would be a good addition to a STEAM library, especially with the airplane directions in the back.

  13. I really enjoyed this book. I love math and science and am a female. Having girls as the main characters was wonderful. Showing how to compromise and work together while building a friendship is a great lesson for students. I especially liked the plans at the end of the book for building the plane. This book earns a 10 out of 10 from me.

  14. This book was just okay. It has a a lot of good stuff for inspiring young inventors and it shows the power of teamwork and friendship. It also shows that creativity and art are equally as important as STEM. It would be a good book to have in any library or a STEM classroom. It is a great example of the engineering design process. It wasn’t personally a favorite book for me but I know there are a lot of kids who would like it. The airplane project in the back would be a great library program or classroom project.
    3/5 stars

  15. Melia and Jo truly are a STEAM dream team! What fun as they see each other’s inventions and ideas through a different perspective. It is a wonderful lesson how each of us brings something new and creative to each experience! Without working together, using their talents, they would’ve never been to create some really cool super stuff alone. Plus, they truly do become BFFs! It is a wonderful book to introduce our STEAM after and summer school programs. The airplane experiment at the end of the book is similar to one that my 3rd graders do and I especially like the descriptive words at the end that students can use and brainstorm for themselves. There are so many books about girls and STEAM now, it would be also great to have some with boys or both in together accomplishing the same feats. This book would work well just to illustrate how to work together as a team regardless of the topic. I rate this book 5/5.

  16. I liked this book. It was neat to see how two different individuals can work together even though the are worlds apart in personalities. I would use this in the beginning of the school year to teach students you never now what a classmate can offer until you listen. I would also bring this book back when we start doing science experiments. I enjoyed the illustrations and the end of the book going into detail on things.
    Rating 4/5 stars

  17. I appreciate the representation of women as scientists and independent thinkers. I also appreciate the demonstration of the important of the A in STEM, the utmost importance of creativity. Although I thought the story felt a bit forced, the strong message about the value of both art and science equally, made it worth it. I shows how collaborating with others brings fresh and new perspectives to innovation.

    This book could be used with any of the following topics; growth mindset, scientific method, friendship, story elements (it has a clear beginning, middle, end and problem/solution), and character traits (perseverance, creativity).

    I rate this book a strong 5/5 stars.

  18. I loved this book!! I really enjoyed the fact that it was about two girls and how smart they both were, but yet completely different. I also think it was an important message that we should work with others. Just because you may have a great idea, does not mean someone else couldn’t contribute and help make it even better.
    I really think students would love to explore more with this book.
    I would use this book when students are having to make their own inventions and make it a partner invention project. Coming up with a guideline on how to compromise.
    The illustrations in the book were also really well done. I would also ask the class if they could think of different ways they would use Melia and Jo’s inventions.
    I rate this book 4/5 stars.