The Girl Who Could Fix Anything
Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer Illustrated by Daniel Duncan
Candlewick Press, September 2021
Air & Space Best Children's Books of 2021 A Junior Library Guild Selection
accessible, tongue-in-cheek depiction of Shilling’s life and
achievements hits all the right notes and shows a woman flourishing in
STEM, the importance of powering through adversity, ways in which
science and curiosity can be applied, as well as how women have
supported each other to learn and succeed....An appealing biography
that will inspire young scientists and those who may quietly rebel
against the status quo."
—Kirkus Reviews "Rockliff has created a book that is simple enough for kindergarteners to
enjoy while still being interesting for third and fourth graders....A delightful and welcome addition to STEM collections everywhere."
—School Library Journal
"This enjoyable tale works equally well as a
read-aloud and a strong addition to Women in STEM collections."
and pictures work together to capture the life and spirit of a
remarkable woman....The text is lively and succinct, full of vigorous
action verbs. The expressive illustrations convey time and place
beautifully and are infused variously with humor (such as when
apprentice-engineer Beatrice, helping to bring electricity to villages,
falls through a ceiling) and drama (as in a stunning double-page spread
of London aflame during the Blitz)."
—The Horn Book Magazine
Shilling wasn’t quite like other children. She could make anything. She
could fix anything. And when she took a thing apart, she put it back
together better than before.
When Beatrice left home to study engineering, she knew that as a girl
she wouldn’t be quite like the other engineers—and she wasn’t. She was
better. Still, it took hard work and perseverance to persuade the Royal
Aircraft Establishment to give her a chance. But when World War II
broke out and British fighter pilots took to the skies in a desperate
struggle for survival against Hitler’s bombers, it was clearly time for
new ideas. Could Beatrice solve an engine puzzle and help Britain win
American author Mara Rockliff and British
illustrator Daniel Duncan team up for a fresh look at a turning point
in modern history—and the role of a remarkable woman whose ingenuity,
persistence, and way with a wrench (or spanner) made her quite unlike
This true story of a woman whose brilliance and mechanical expertise
helped Britain win World War II is sure to inspire STEM readers and fans
of amazing women in history.