Summer Reading List for Strong Girls

 

Most parents and teachers want to be sure that kids keep reading all summer long. Experts say that kids should read every day to maintain their reading skills learned in the previous school year. The summer is a great time to explore books that kids would not get the chance to read during the school year. For moms of girls, it’s a great time to introduce some strong female protagonists. It’s so important for girls to have great role models in media.

Check out this summer reading list to inspire strong girls. This list is aimed at independent elementary-aged readers, but many of these books make wonderful read-alouds for younger readers as well.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda was one of my favorite books as child. I was so excited when I first got to share it with my own daughter. Matilda is smart, strong, and loves to read. This fun story appeals to both girls and boys alike and has captured children’s hearts for decades.

Nellie Nova series by Stephenie Peterson

I wrote Nellie Nova Takes Flight and Nellie Nova’s Summer on the Run because I wanted to inspire girls.

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!

In the second book, Nellie and her brother go on to meet Sacagawea and reporter Nellie Bly, but not without more trouble from those pesky government agents.

 

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

 

I love Pippi! A little bit wild and always full of adventure, Pippi Longstocking is fiercely independent, brave, and owns a monkey. Pippi Longstocking is a great summer read for girls of all ages. I might just re-read it myself this summer.

 

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

My nine year old wants nothing more than to be a spy right now. Harriet the Spy was a favorite of mine as a child and I can’t wait for my daughter to read it this summer. Harriet is an aspiring writer who meticulously writes about everything going on around her. When her classmates find her notebook, she’s faced with questions about honesty and friendship.

 

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

I read this book over and over again as a child. Anne was my favorite literary character for a long time. Her ever-optimistic character always inspired me to look on the bright side, and her rebellious streak reminded me never to settle. It’s the perfect summer read!

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

This is the kind of book that sticks with you! My kids and I listened to the audiobook version of it and we all felt like we’d lost a friend when it ended. All of the characters are lovable, but Luna is such a fine example of a strong girl. Full of magic, mystery, and a tiny dragon, it’s just the kind of a book your daughter will love on her summer reading list.

I hope you enjoy this summer reading list for strong girls. Did I miss any books that you love?

Nellie Nova Giveaway!

Just Add Coffee- The Homeschool Coupon Mom is hosting a giveaway of either Nellie Nova book on her blog! Check it out and you might win your own copy of Nellie Nova! While you’re at it, check out the site! It’s fun and informative!  There’s also a review of both Nellie Nova books, so you can learn more about the series and just how much kids love Nellie!

Who doesn’t love a giveaway? I know I do! Click the image below to see the details! Find out more about Alison and her great blog on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

For Educators, Homeschool Groups, or Book Clubs

If you are interested in using the Nellie Nova series in your  classroom, homeschool group, or book club, please contact me at stephie.peterson@live.com. I am happy to provide a discount for orders of 20 or more books. I  also can provide a special educator’s guide to accompany Nellie Nova Takes Flight free of charge with a bulk order. The guide contains more information about the science and history concepts in the book as well as art, science, writing, and history activities for kids.

I love visiting schools and homeschool groups. If your school or group is within two hours of Raleigh, North Carolina, I would love to come do a reading for your students. I can also do Skype presentations for those outside of my driving range.

I love hearing from educators. I’d love to hear more about how your schools or groups are using Nellie Nova.

 

 

 

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Book Deal

If you’ve been thinking about buying some Nellie Nova books for kids in your life, now is a great time! Use code GIFTBOOK17 on amazon.com to take $5 off any book order over $20. Can be used with any combination of books.

 

Happy shopping, book lovers!

 

Nellie Nova’s Summer on the Run Now Available!

I have spent the past year and a half working hard to get this project finished. It’s been so fun writing my newest book. I recently had a release party here in Raleigh and it was a blast! Snacks, crafts, and a reading made for a really fun day. I hope all of Nellie’s fan’s check out book number two!

Nellie Nova’s Summer on the Run is a great read for kids in 3rd-6th grades!

About the book:

A year has passed since Nellie Nova built her time machine, the Purple Flyer. She and her brother, Niles, have been busy traveling throughout history to meet amazing women. Everyone in the Nova family, including their “Auntie” Amelia Earhart is very happy that the pesky government agents who tried to steal their time machine last year have finally backed off. One day, after traveling in time to meet the Native American trail guide Sacagawea, Nellie and Niles return home to find out that Agent Riley and his team of operatives are back in town and they’ve come for the Novas! Ruthless as ever, the agents chase Nellie and Niles through town, park their car in front of the Novas’ home, and even show up to Nellie’s dance recital. The Novas have had enough, so they pack their bags and head to Washington state to hide out in the mountains for the summer.
Worst of all, Nellie’s parents forbid her and Niles from using their time machine until things settle down.
Will they ever get away from the agents? And will Nellie ever be able to use her time machine to meet her newest heroine and namesake, reporter Nellie Bly?

 

If you’ve been itching to buy the second installment of Nellie’s story, check it out on Amazon today!  The Nellie Nova series is a great way to gently encourage a love of science and history in young kids.

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon! Nellie Nova’s Summer on the Run

I am so excited to share a bit about my latest project with you!

Fans of “Nellie Nova Takes Flight” have been patiently waiting for more adventures with Nellie and Niles. I am happy to say that the wait is almost over! I am currently working with an illustrator and editor to make my book shine. It should be ready by the end of the summer!

I will share more about the book and the Nova kids’ wild summer tomorrow. For now. I’ll just say that they travel in time to meet Sacajawea and reporter Nellie Bly, and spend a lot of time trying escape pesky government agents who won’t give up their quest to steal the time machine.

Check out these illustrations by artist Jo Painter. Nellie and Niles have an amazing adventure ahead of them!

Introducing Nellie’s Girls

introducing-nellies-girlsIn the months since “Nellie Nova Takes Flight” was released, I have had the privilege of traveling to schools, museums, camps and homeschool groups to do readings of my book. I have met some truly amazing kids. These kids have inspired me to start a new feature on the blog: Nellie’s Girls. 

Once a month, I will feature a girl who reminds me of Nellie Nova. A girl who is smart. A girl who is strong. A girl who won’t give up. A girl who won’t let archaic ideas about what little girls are supposed to do get in her way.  The girl will get to be interviewed by me, be featured on the blog and will get a signed copy of my book as well as a commemorative certificate.

Do you know a girl who loves science? A girl who raises money for a charity she loves? Maybe a girl who plays football? Is there a girl in  your life who has inspired you? If so, tell me about her!

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How to nominate a girl you love:

Send me an email at stephie.peterson@live.com and tell me all about her. Please include 1-5 pictures of your nominee. If possible, please include pictures of her participating in the activity you find inspirational. If she is chosen, I will conduct an interview via email or phone and post it here on the blog.

*parental permission required. 

10 Amazing Women Your Kids Need to Know

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History is filled with amazing women. I believe this so thoroughly that it’s the basis of my book series. The more research I’ve done, the more I am overwhelmed with some of these wonderful, world changing women. Some I was familiar with before I started researching and some previously unknown to me, and many others.

I think it is so very important for our kids, boys and girls alike, to learn about the amazing things women have done throughout history. It’s hard for today’s kids to fully contemplate how far women have come in a few generations.  I think if they learn from the past, their future will only be brighter.

Summer is a great time for a fun mini-unit of historical woman. Whether you traditionally school or homeschool, it’s always good to make sure the kids keep learning all year long. I’ve provided information about 10 amazing women and links to learn more.

1.Nellie Bly

Nelliebly

Image by H. J. Myers – http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004680180/ (Library of Congress), retouched version, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=478182

I knew nothing about Nellie Bly until about 18 months ago. I was so inspired by her that she is featured heavily in the 2nd book in the Nellie Nova series. (Estimated release date 12/2016)

Nellie Bly was not actually her real name, but a pen name. She was born Elizabeth Jane Cochrane.  She was a journalistic pioneer not only because she was a woman, but also because she pretty much invented investigative reporting. She turned the world of journalism upside down when she pretended to be insane to to an investigation of a Blackwell Island’s Lunatic Asylum. She spent ten days living as if she were insane so that she could see the dark side of the care of mentally ill patients. Her reporting in The New York World caused a $1,000,0000 increase in New York City’s budget for the care of the mentally ill.

Later, she made an incredible journey around the world in just 72 days. And all she took with her was the small bag you see in the photo above.

Find out more about Nellie Bly here.

Or check out this book!

2.Amelia Earhart 

Earhart

By Copyright by Underwood and Underwood (not renewed)

My first book, “Nellie Nova Takes Flight”is about a young girl’s journey to build a time machine to meet Amelia Earhart. So  you can probably guess that I think Amelia was a pretty amazing woman. Most of us know that she was a pilot. Many think she was the first female pilot. That’s not quite true. Amelia was the 16th woman to obtain her pilots licence. What Amelia did, however was break many records for altitude and speed. She was the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic. She was a wonderful example of a woman bravely stepping into a role traditionally filled by men.

Amelia Earhart disappeared on an attempted flight around the world. Neither Amelia nor her navigator, Fred Noonan, were ever found.

Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.- Amelia Earhart

Read more about Amelia:

My front page

Or try this book. 

Learn while reading a fictional tale about Amelia here.

3.Ada Lovelace

Ada_Lovelace

By Margaret Sarah Carpenter – object page. Original upload was at English wikipedia at en:File:Ada_Lovelace.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=354077

Did you know the person known to be the first computer programmer was a woman from the mid-1800s?! I didn’t until I started looking into Ada Lovelace.

She  was the child of the poet George Lord Byron and his wife Anne Isabella Milbanke. Her mother was a mathematician and insisted she started studying math at the age of four. This was highly uncommon for the time. She excelled in math and science and at the age of 17 she met Charles Babbage, a met inventor and mathematician. She had the opportunity to watch him demonstrate a model of his difference engine, a huge mathematical calculating machine. This machine led to him earning the title“father of the computer.” While working with Babbage, Lovelace wrote out an algorithm clearly meant to be completed by a machine. During her time, her brilliance was not really recognized. It took many years for people to find her notes and realize that she’d written the first computer program.

Find out more about Ada Lovelace in this book  or here.

4.Jeannette Rankin

Rankin1973

By U.S. Congress – http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Jeannette_Rankin.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2153200

Jeanette Rankin was another happy surprise during my research. I’d never heard of her until recently, but I am so very impressed. She became the first woman to serve in the US congress in 1916. What makes this even more amazing is that is before women in the US had even gained the right to vote! But Jeanette (and many other amazing women) made sure to fight for women’s rights and  the 19th amendment was passed in 1920. Though she only served two years in congress, she continued to work hard an activist. In addition to her passion for women’s suffrage, Rankin was also a pacifist and shortly after her term ended, she served as a delegate to the Women’s International Conference for Peace. She returned to politics when she was elected to House of Representatives in 1939 on an anit-war platform. She held her ground even after the Pearl Harbor attacks, voting against entering WW2. Rankin served until 1943.

Learn more here and here.

5.Audrey Hepburn

Audrey_Hepburn_and_Ronald_Reagan

By http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/photographs/vips.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3530165

Wait, wasn’t Audrey Hepburn just another pretty actress? No. She was so much more than just pretty! Audrey Hepburn was an amazing humanitarian. She lived in Belgium as a child, but her family moved to Holland when the Nazis began invading much of Europe in WW2. Though her parents were Nazi sympathizers, Audrey secretly donated money she earned as a ballerina to the Resistance. Hepburn later she retired from acting become a Special Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund.”There is a moral obligation,that those who have should give to those who don’t,” she said of her work with UNICEF. Hepburn truly was more than pretty.

To find out more here

or check out this book.

6.Marie Curie

Marie_Curie_1903

By Nobel foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Born Maria Sklodowska in Poland in 1867, Marie was the daughter of two schoolteachers. She always loved learning. She later attended Sorbonne University in Paris where she studied physics and mathematics.  In was in Paris that she met and later married scientist  Pierre Curie and started going by Marie instead of Maria. They began working together and earned a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903. She was the first  She was the first woman to receive this honor. After Pierre died in 1906, she took over his position at Sorbonne. She went on to receive a 2nd Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry in 1911. Marie showed that women have a place in science.

“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie

Find out more about her in this book or here.

7. Mother Teresa 

Mutter Teresa, lachend, Dezember 1985

By Manfredo Ferrari – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35010569

Mother Teresa was born Uskub, Ottoman Empire in 1910 (now called Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia). Her name was originally Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her father died when she was raised by her mother, a devout Catholic. She decided at a young age that she would become a nun. Her focus became India and she devoted much of her life to serving the population of Calcutta. She dedicated herself to the lepers, the poor and the homeless. She won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. The recipient of this award normally has a banquet hosted in their honor. Mother Teresa asked that the money be donated to the poor. In 1982, during the Siege of Beirut, she saved 37 kids who were trapped in a burning hospital. She created a ceasefire and traveled into the war zone with Red Cross workers to rescue the children.  Mother Teresa continued to serve those in need even as her health was in decline. She stepped down only a few months before her death in 1997. Mother Teresa will be made a saint later this year.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”- Mother Teresa 

Find out more here and in this book.

8.Sacagawea

 

Sakakawea-statue-bismarck-nd-2004

By Leonard Crunelle (1872-1944) sculptor, photographer Hans Andersen (Own work for the photo.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sacagawea is another woman who be featured in the 2nd installment of the Nellie Nova story. She was a Shoshone woman born in 1778 in Idaho. She was the daughter of the chief and was kidnapped at a young age by Hidatsa Indians. She was later sold as a slave to the man who would become her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trader. Inspite of her hard upbringing, Sacagawea turned out to make quite an impact on history. She and her husband joined the Lewis and Clark expedition and she made the journey with her infant son on her back. She was valuable to the expedition as an interrupter with Native American tribes they encountered as well as for her knowledge of the landscape and safe foods t eat in the American West. She was so dedicated that when the travelers happened upon her own brother, she opted to stay with the expedition and was part of the team that made it to the Pacific.

Not much is truly known about her life, but what is clear is that Sacagawea was a brave woman who made an impact on history.

Find our more here or in this book.

9.Sybil Ludington

Sybil_Ludington_stamp

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6053610

Known as the female Paul Revere, Sybil Ludington is not nearly as commonly known as Mr. Revere. She was born in 1761 in Patterson, New York. She was the daughter  of Abigail and Colonel Henry Ludington. At the age of 16, she made a similar ride to that of Mr. Revere -but her ride was longer. On April 26, 1777, her father received word that the British were to attack  Danbury, CT,which was about 25 miles away. She rode 40 miles in the rain, shouting for troops to assemble at her father’s home. When she returned, over 400 soldiers had arrived, ready to fight. Later, President George Washington (then General) recognized her efforts. She continued to serve as a messenger throughout the war.

Read more here or in this book.

10. Rosa Parks 

Rosaparks

By Unknown – USIA / National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group 306, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4344206

Last, but certainly not least, is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks is best known for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white person on December 1, 1955. She was arrested for this act of defiance. This began a boycott of the Montgomery public buses by African American people. The boycott was lead by non other than Doctor Martian Luther King, Junior.After 381 days, the supreme court ruled that public buses could not be segregated. But Rosa did a lot more than just refuse to stand.She went on to Serve as the secretary of the NAACP, found the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development and author two books. She was given the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor by President Clinton. The mother of the civil rights movement died in 2005, but her impact lives on still today.

Find out more about Rosa here or in this book.

I hope you learned something new about these great women.  I hope this can be a starting point for a great study of women in history with your kids.

(more…)

Coming Soon!

Nellie Nova Takes Flight by Stephenie Peterson

My 2nd book will be available in June! It’s called “Nellie Nova’s Flight Plan: Educational Activities for Knowledge Explorers.” The book is a companion to “Nellie Nova Takes Flight.”  It’s filled with fun, educational activities, information, and resources relating to concepts introduced in “Nellie Nova Takes Flight.”  Topics covered in the book include: Amelia Earhart, Physics, Botany, Victorian England, and the Ancient Aztecs.  The projects and activities in the book are fun-filled and help kids learn more about these topics.  The activities include science projects, art extensions, writing prompts, engineering tasks, and more! I am very excited about this new book! It would be great for homeschoolers and teachers.  but also for any kid who loves to learn and can’t get enough of Nellie Nova!

 

Adventures in Book Promotion- Radio Edition

Last month, when I was visiting family in Seattle, I got an email inviting me to be a guest on Radio Active Kids on Asheville FM. I gladly accepted and started planning quick trip to Asheville, NC with my family. I thought that the kids would really enjoy seeing how radio programs are made, plus the whole Asheville area is ridiculously beautiful.

A few days before the show, my husband suggested that I go alone so I could have a relaxing trip.

Okay, moms. You get this. ALONE.

Friday afternoon, I returned home from a reading at a local elementary school, packed up my stuff and headed out the door.  Even though I had a 3.5 hour drive ahead of me, I was excited. I had two new audiobooks on my phone. I listened to an entire book on the way there. (“Your First 1000 Copies” By Tim Grahl) Even though I was basically working while driving for hours it was great. It was quiet. The scenery, while it was still light out, was beautiful. The book was interesting and seems like it will be helpful.

I got to Asheville about 9:00pm. I’d booked a room with Air BnB and stayed in the home of some local musicians halfway up a mountain. It was gorgeous and my host was friendly. IE she offered me an adult beverage after my arrival. This is glamorous stuff for a homeschooling mom of three. The wild woman that I am, I took my single drink to my room and worked some more. It was so quiet. I loved it. (Also- my Educational Activity Guide to go with “Nellie Nova Takes Flight” is really coming along!)

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The next morning, I awoke to realize how much colder it is up on a mountain than it is in Raleigh. Duh.

I didn’t pack for 40 degrees. It was in the 60s when I left Raleigh. So I got dressed and shivered my way to the car. I was pretty excited when I found my husband’s winter jacket when I got to the car. I mean, I looked ridiculous wearing a cute dress with little birds all over it, heals, and a large ski coat, but at least I was warm.

I drove to the radio station  and got there 30 minutes early.  I was excited. Can I admit that? This stuff is still new to me, so being interviewed on the radio was a really cool to me. Yes, I said cool. I may sound like an overzealous teenager talking about meeting a boy band, but I felt that way. I got to be interviewed on the radio!

The interview went really well and was actually a lot of fun. It can be found here until 4/16/16. Scroll to “Listen.” It’s about 36:30 into the episode.

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Afterward, I wandered around Asheville a bit and did some shopping. I was able to get some birthday gifts for my son, who turns nine today. Then I had to head back to my husband, who had come down with a nasty virus and did not want to be alone with the kids any longer.

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I listened to Mindy Kaling’s “Why Not Me?” on the drive home and enjoyed all the beauty North Carolina has to offer. I was happy and feeling pretty good about myself. I stopped for gas and snacks in some tiny little town. As I got back on the freeway, I was thinking about how maybe, just maybe, my writing career could take off. I picked up a piece of candy and unwrapped it, only to find that it was stuck to the wrapper. There’s nothing like trying to pry a grape Laffy Taffy out of its wrapper with your teeth to knock you back down to reality and make you think that maybe you have a long road ahead before you’ll be successful.

And that’s okay. I get to write books. I get to speak to kids about writing! Kids have told me I have inspired them to write or read more often! And I still get to teach my own kids. Things are pretty great.

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