Puffin Books, 2019
192pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
From the Girl Geek Academy website…
What would the internet look like if there were more women building it?
- By the age of 6, children classify jobs as male and female.
- By the age of 8, they are limiting aspirations
- By 13 many of them have already ruled out career options that don’t fit with gender stereotypes.
- By ages 16-17 60% of girls aspire to stereotypically ‘female’ jobs.
So the mission of the Girl Geek Academy is to increase the number of women and girls in tech, games, making, robotics, 3D printing, aviation, drones and space by teaching one million women
to learn technology by 2025. Launched by five women with the aim of making girls in STEM and IT the norm, they are developing a series of initiatives aimed at those from five years old up to mature women, one of which is this new series of books that put geek girls in the spotlight and in charge. They show that technology is fun and girls are awesome, with each focusing on each of the girls, Hamsa, Eve, Niki and Maggie and their particular talents – hacker, hipster or hustler. With characters that young girls such as my Miss 13 will recognise, they take everyday situations that arise in schools and show how the girls use their strengths to solve them, demonstrating that being a ‘geek girl’ is as normal as being any other sort of girl. It’s just one part of who they are.
As well as this new series (four in the pipeline so far) there are many other programs and resources available on the academy website to support and enable the development of digital technologies in the school and across the curriculum so this is both a series and a website that could and should be promoted widely to staff and students. So often, geeks don’t see the library as having anything for them, particularly when there is still such an emphasis on books and reading, so this is yet another way to reach out to that long tail – all those potential patrons that a library has but who don’t use the facility because they don’t believe it has anything to offer them.
Well-written, illustrated and as perfect for the newly-independent reader as it is for those whose appetite for reading is never sated, this is a series with a difference and with huge potential.