A Charming Book On Friendship and Staying True to You

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“Ellie, Engineer In the Spotlight,” by Jackson Pearce, is a charming book on the importance of unconditional friendship and staying true to yourself.

The story begins with Ellie, engineering a skateboarding ramp for her friend Kit to use during the Miss Junior Peachy Keen Pageant. Ellie is an engineer, and will also be participating in the pageant. Ellie will be performing a dance, and is excited.

The pageant takes place in a hotel, and there Ellie meets Melody. Melody is Kit’s rival, and not nice at all. She will perform a magic trick; but when her rabbit, Pancakes, goes missing she makes sure the entire hotel knows. The worst part? She blames Kit! Ellie will have to engineer a trap for Pancakes to make sure that the real thief is uncovered! But, when Melody makes sure that Ellie knows engineering is “gross,” Ellie goes through a bit of an identity challenge. Is her love for engineering something that she never should’ve liked in the first place?

This book was a good book, although I think it may be better for a younger audience. I really enjoyed the educational pages in the back on things like insulators and conductors (especially because we’re learning about that same exact thing in Science) and the recipe for insulating and conducting dough. I liked the book and I would give this as a gift to someone who has big ideas. 

Watch Ellie find her place at the pageant and enjoy the hilarious side plot as Toby tries to win Miss Congeniality when he’s not even in the pageant!