Refer Madness: Future Scientist?

rmRefer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk.

A mom was looking for her middle-school daughter’s next book. She said her daughter had loved The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and “all the Holocaust stuff.” But she wanted her to discover some real people as well. My first thought was the young adult version of Unbroken, but the library didn’t have that one. I asked if she liked creepy stuff and graphic novels, because then Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods might hit the spot. (Nope: “We showed her The Sixth Sense — big mistake.”) But she took it for herself, because she loved creepy stuff.

Then, right before the mother was checking out, I remembered we had Rachel Ignotofsky’s beautifully illustrated Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World on the New Nonfiction shelf. Real women, nonfiction, easy read. I gave it to the mother and hoped for the best.

In my dreams the girl reads it and has her mind blown by the badass women throughout science history, leading her to a career in science wherein she invents something that saves my life a few decades from now. Or she reads the first page, gets bored and discards it. Such is the way of things in readers advisory.

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