Official Review: What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z

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ALynnPowers
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Official Review: What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z

Post by ALynnPowers »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z" by Tiffani Teachey.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z by Tiffani Teachey is an alphabet book for children. Just as you would expect in a children’s ABC book, each page depicts a different letter of the alphabet with a corresponding word beginning with that letter. But this is not your typical ABC book for little kiddos; there will be no “A is for Apple” here. As the title implies, it’s all about careers within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, from Astronaut to Zoologist.

Although it is a children’s book, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s for young children. Upper elementary school students would more likely benefit from this book. So unlike other ABC books, this one isn’t about teaching the alphabet; it’s about teaching different options for STEM careers. And while the list of careers isn’t extensive by any means – there is only one career per letter – it at least gives a starting point for students to open up their minds about potential futures. There is also a brief description about what someone in that career does. To top it all off, there are cute little cartoon depictions of six diverse recurring characters to go with each description.

This book stood out to me because, by pure chance, I started working at a science and engineering middle/high school just a month or so ago. Coming from an “artsy” background, I was overwhelmed by the curriculum these students are expected to learn; even sixth graders take engineering classes! Even so, most of them don’t really know the point of these STEM classes that are part of their core curriculum. With that in mind, I could easily picture the pages of this book on a poster hung up around the border of one of their classrooms. I know I personally could have done with something like this 20 or so years ago!

The down side of the book is that it is merely an ABC book with a brief sentence or two per page. It’s short and sweet, and it accomplishes exactly what it needs to do and nothing more. There is a lot of potential for conversation and/or classroom curriculum to be stimulated from this book (e.g., explaining the challenging vocabulary presented throughout the book, research projects to go further in depth on the duties of the careers, an interview with someone in that career, etc.), and I almost wish that some of those conversations were at least initiated within this book. A little bit more in-depth information about each career would have been awesome, even in glossary form so as to not take away from the illustrations on each page.

Overall, I thought this was a great book, and I gladly give it 4 out of 4 stars. The subject is great, and the way it is presented is beautiful. The pictures look amazing on my black-and-white Kindle, so I can only imagine how great they look in full color. As I mentioned above, a poster version or an alphabet border strip of this book would be fantastic and could be hanging on classroom walls right now. I would recommend this book especially to STEM teachers to initiate conversation and open up the minds of their students to potential future careers within promising fields.

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What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z
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ButterscotchCherrie
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie »

I assume there's a clear message that girls can pursue these STEM careers as much as boys? I think it's great for young kids to see such images. I can remember books that pictured Mummy doing the housework and would have loved input like this. I enjoyed your excellently written review.

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Ever_Reading
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Post by Ever_Reading »

What an awesome idea for a children's book! It's crucial to get young kids interested in STEM as early as possible. I'm glad you enjoyed the book and found the illustrations appropriate. Great review!
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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

What a wonderful idea to present 25+ STEM career possibilities to elementary school students in this way! I may recommend this book to my local library. Thanks for your review!

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Post by LiLeaBrand »

This is amazing! What a great idea to gear the minds of young kids in the direction of STEM careers. Big ups to the author! My daughter is learning her ABC’s now so she is perhaps a bit young for this, but I will incest in this book for her future. Thank you for the great review!

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Post by kandscreeley »

What a great way to learn about career options. I've seen STEM, but I didn't actually know what it stood for. Thanks for explaining it! I'm not the age group, but I would recommend it to children.
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T_stone
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Post by T_stone »

A children's book written to help younger folks know about their career options through the STEM method. I'd like to see more of what this book entails.

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Amy747
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Post by Amy747 »

I love Abc books of different topics. Every child is different and every alphabet should be different too. Multitasking or multi teaching at its best.

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