cover image Mia Marcotte and the Robot

Mia Marcotte and the Robot

Jeanne Wald, illus. by Saliha Caliskan. Jeanne Wald, $15.99 (140p) ISBN 978-2-9568573-2-7

Wald’s illustrated chapter book debut stars third grader Mia Marcotte, an aspiring astronaut who happens upon her engineer aunt’s mysterious robot. When Mia learns that “the kids who make the best science fair projects” will be rewarded with a field trip to the space center, she’s determined to be one of them. There’s only one problem: she has no idea what her project will be, and the fair is in three days. Enter Aizek, an intelligent new robot friend who lacks imagination. With the support of Aizek and her pet parrot, Martian, Mia will have to flex her ingenuity if she wants to be a contender. Wald’s energetic narration, coupled with Caliskan’s animation-style drawings, capably portrays an imaginative girl pursuing her career and creative dreams. Though didactic dialogue and descriptions detract, Mia is a lovable, enthusiastic protagonist, and secondary characters entertain. Wald suffuses the plot with elementary-level science experiments and allusions, making this an inspiring read for those interested in STEM fields. Ages 8–up. (Self-published)