Thursday 26 September 2019

Geek Girls: Making Magic

Geek Girls: Making Magic by Alex Miles (Puffin) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 978 0143795087

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Here is a new series about a gang where four girls about ten years old design, make, game, hack and code. The series was developed in partnership with Girl Geek Academy, an Australian global movement teaching one million women to learn technology by 2025 through programs for parents, teachers, corporate and community.

The publicity which came with the book points out that only 12 percent of engineers are women and that the current internet was built primarily by men so in this first book one would assume the content is directed at girls in the hope of encouraging them to work in technology. However, Making Magic is basically about Eve, Maggie, Hamsa and Niki working for their aptly named teacher Ms Atlas to put on a school play. Admittedly, they do work with a 3-D printer at one stage.

The second book in the series – Perfect Holidays – centres on the geek girls planning a birthday party. It is difficult to see how this relates to technology and how it might inspire girls to participate in the industry. Having said that, the relationships between the girls are important in the books, as is cooperation and leadership.

Written in third person past tense, the prose in the book is straightforward, and it must be said, pedestrian. Nonetheless, the books are likely to appeal to certain girls aged eight years who are into series.

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