The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer

By Mara Rockliff

Illustrated by Daniel Duncan

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.

Beatrice 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 the war? 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 anyone else. An author’s note and a list of selective sources provide additional information for curious readers.

Categories: Non-Fiction

For readers aged: 7+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406399004
  • Published: 03 Mar 2022
  • Price: £12.99
  •  
  • Size: 280 x 225 mm
  • Pages: 48

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Customer reviews

Reviews

'This entertaining picture-book biography chronicles her life from childhood through school and apprenticeships, marriage, the war, and the rest of her illustrious career. . . . This enjoyable tale works equally well as a read-aloud and a strong addition to Women in STEM collections.' Booklist

'Rockliff’s text flows with breezy excitement over the technical development and with a wry humor directed at the male engineering community, a style ably supported by the visual nudging and teasing of Duncan’s digital artwork.' The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

'This engaging and inspiring read owes a lot of its appeal to Duncan’s charming illustrations, featuring a determined, likable heroine. Author Rockliff has created a book that is simple enough for kindergarteners to enjoy while still being interesting for third and fourth graders—no easy feat. . . . A delightful and welcome addition to STEM collections everywhere.' School Library Journal

'This 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. Duncan’s fine-lined illustrations include characters of color among the largely White cast of background characters. . . . An appealing biography that will inspire young scientists and those who may quietly rebel against the status quo.' Kirkus Reviews

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Hardback
£12.99

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