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Nellie Nova Takes Flight – Review

Nellie Nova Takes Flight CoverNellie Nova Takes Flight (Book One in the Nellie Nova series) by Stephenie Peterson is a sweet middle grade adventure with beatific family values, a strong female character, and fun science fiction adventure:

Nellie appears to be a normal nine year old girl. But Nellie is not normal. Nellie is an amazingly gifted scientist who lives in a family of amazingly gifted scientists. One day, her brother, Niles, who is eleven, teases her (as all respectable big brothers do). This time, however, Niles goes too far when he tells Nellie that girls are silly and no woman has ever changed the world. This sets off a spark of an idea in Nellie’s most amazing mind and sends her down the path to create a time machine and meet wonderful women who made a mark on the world. First stop, Amelia Earhart! With a few bumps along the way and a government agency out to steal her technology, Nellie and Niles are in for an incredible adventure!

Nellie is a brave character who works hard to follow her passions and has the cooperative support of a wonderful family. Because they homeschool, Nellie has all day to work on her time machine. The fact that they homeschool is simply presented as normal, as a non-issue, just as it is a non-issue that Nellie is at least as smart as her brother. Nellie Nova Takes Flight sports a straight-forward feminist theme that all parents of little girls can get behind. Young readers will love meeting Amelia Earhart through Nellie. There is also plenty of adventure and science fiction with playful details that help young readers imagine Nellie’s time machine, which is first made out of a card-board box.

My six-year-old boy loved Nellie Nova Takes Flight and immediately started asking me about radar signals and time travel. Then he asked me to read it to him again! We will be on the lookout for the sequels.

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