Missy Maker is a middle school girl who loves math and fashion. She sees math in everything she does. She tries to hide this from her friends, because she thinks it’s too geeky. Missy hears that the school math club needs more members, but she’s worried about what her friends will think if she joins, and she’s already committed to joining the fashion club.
After an epic internal struggle and with the support of her peers and her quirky, loving family, Missy finds that she can be both a Mathlete and a Fashionista. Missy figures out how to bring the two clubs together to help both groups win. In the process, she discovers that she can openly excel in math and science and still be popular with her peers. She also learns how her math and science skills can help her artistic endeavors.
Gain an inside perspective on what it’s like when you love math and science and happen to be a girl. Fashion Figures highlights the societal and internal pressures preteen and early-teen girls often face when they excel in these subjects, and it shows strategies for overcoming barriers to being themselves and doing what they love while still fitting in socially.
What You'll Learn
Girls can have a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and still be cool
Girls can be great at math
Math skills are important in non-STEM centered subject areas like fashion and art
Math can be fun
Who This Book Is For
Pre-teen and early-teen girls (9-14 years old)
The smoky smell of cooking bacon drifted down the hallway of 104 Driscoll Avenue, up three stairs, around a bend, and through Missy’s barely cracked door to tickle her nose. Twelve feet plus three feet plus one and a half feet equals the distance the scent of bacon just traveled from the kitchen. Missy Maker’s brain calculated, as her mouth watered, before she was even fully awake. She let the smell of bacon pull her up into a sitting position and then lead her down the stairs and into her family’s kitchen. If G-ma cooks the whole pound . . . Fifteen slices in one pound of bacon divided by three people, means at least five slices for me.
G-ma stood with her back toward the counter. She was busy working over the stove, a spatula in one hand and an oversize mug, filled with black coffee and featuring a photo of Missy and her sister, Molly, both smiling widely, in the other. G-ma moved expertly between the frying pan and griddle, her bright blue eyes in stark contrast to her black and silver hair. Missy imagined purple streaks atop G-ma’s spiky ‘do.
Bubbles exploded from the tops of the perfect pancake spheres. Missy thought of her favorite ratio—the diameter of a circle to the circumference of a circle—and how it resulted in the irrational and lovely number called pi. In a haze of bacon smoke, the elegant equation for the area of a circle, pi r-squared, seemed to float about the stove as G-ma adroitly flipped each pancake over. Just as it was done to crispy perfection, G-ma swiftly removed the bacon strips from the frying pan to a paper-towel covered plate.
Merry Maker!” G-ma sang out noticing Missy watching her prepare breakfast. Then, as if reading Missy’s thoughts, G-ma said, “I cooked only six slices of bacon, dearie. And six pancakes. That’s two apiece of each.” G-ma winked at Missy who sidled up to the kitchen peninsula and sat on a bar stool.
As Missy watched her grandmother cooking breakfast, she felt an odd weight on her head. She raised her hand and touched her hair. She felt at once that she had forgotten to take down her ponytail before going to bed. Now, it sat askew, leaning to the right and creating a heavy sensation. Missy had unruly frizzy, blond hair. It was long, and Missy found the easiest way to manage it was to wrangle it into a bunch and to tie it tightly atop her head in various positions.
Missy pictured her head as a globe and overlaid a compass in her mind’s eye. Zero degrees at the top; hair slipped to about 70 degrees. With determination, she grabbed her ponytail, quickly divided the hair between two hands and pulled and wrangled it up to the North Pole. Then Missy gave her hair a sharp tug pulling each handful in opposite directions to lock in the elastic band. Satisfied for now, Missy looked around the kitchen feeling more awake.
Missy’s pet cat, Pi, arched its back and weaved in and out of the legs on Missy’s stool. As a calico, Missy thought Pi was the most fashionable cat she knew! His brown and black striped fur and green eyes made him ready for any formal event; however, it was the perfectly round patch of black over white fur that encircled his left eye for which she had named him. Missy reached down to stroke Pi’s fur.
“What’s the occasion, G-ma?” Missy asked sitting back up and resting her chin in her hands.
G-ma plated breakfast for Missy and herself then set down her spatula and delivered the plates to the peninsula. Then she walked to the refrigerator. She took out the maple syrup and butter, then said, “We’re celebrating! TGIF: Thank G-ma, it’s Friday!”