Ada Lace sees red

Emily Calandrelli

Book - 2017

Eight-year-old Ada Lace is determined to win the robot-building competition but is struggling with her art class so she soon wonders if there might be a way to use both science and art to solve her problems.

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Detective and mystery fiction
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2017.
Main Author
Emily Calandrelli (author)
Other Authors
Tamson Weston (author), Renée Kurilla (illustrator)
First Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers hardcover edition
Item Description
Sequel to: Ada Lace, on the case
Physical Description
128 pages ; illustrations ; 20 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Horn Book Review

With Tamson Weston. This endearing new series champions STEAM concepts as scientist, inventor, and literal-minded third grader Ada Lace investigates a missing dog (Case) and builds a robot (Red). Large font, abundant white space, and loose black-and-white illustrations aid young readers. Concluding "Behind the Science" sections support Ada's interests, while her artistic parents and friend lend balance, teaching Ada--and readers--the importance of design. [Review covers these Ada Lace Adventure titles: Ada Lace, On the Case and Ada Lace Sees Red.] (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Inventor-in-training Ada Lace discovers that not everyone sees the world as she does. In this second episode of a STEM-focused chapter-book series, third-grader Ada has a problem. She can't do the art assignments involving techniques that use color. Worse, the school art teacher is her father. Failing in school is bad enough; disappointing her artistic parents is worse. Unlike her parents and her good friend Nina, Ada's strengths lie in science and technology. She's been constructing a robot she's named George. Kindly Mr. Peebles, an inventor living nearby, offers help and encouragement. Ada's art problem is a good robotics challenge. Using photoresistors, Ada gives George the capacity to paint paintings for her school assignments and for the audience at an under-12 robotics competition. Meanwhile, seeing that Ada has difficulty distinguishing different color shades, Nina helps her figure out why. Ada and her parents are all relieved to have an explanation for her uncharacteristic school difficulties. Illustrations portray Ada and her family as white, Nina as Southeast Asian, and Mr. Peebles as black. Ada's self-portrait, an important plot point, looks quite different in Kurilla's illustration from what's described in the text, but readers will be drawn in by Ada's real issues and satisfied by the resolution. Gears, robots, color theory, and color blindness mesh nicely in this school-and-friendship tale. (afterword) (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Ada Lace Sees Red Chapter One THE NEW ART TEACHER Ada watched as her father returned Nina's picture to her. The assignment was a self-portrait in a favorite color. Nina had picked pink. Pink seemed like such an obvious girl color, Ada thought that Nina's choice might count against her. Ada's parents were big fans of going against "gender norms." If Elliott, her little brother, had done the same assignment in blue, Mr. Lace probably would have told him to "dig deeper." To Ada's surprise, Mr. Lace smiled and said, "Really nice work, Nina. I love all the different tones you found in that color. You've reinvented pink!" Nina beamed. "Thank you, Mr. Lace." It seemed like he must be in a good mood. Still, Ada was nervous. Maybe it was that her father had never sounded that excited about anything she had made in the past. The most she got was a "Good job, sweetie" and a pat on the head. As he handed the other kids' pictures back, Ada listened to his praise. She tried to take it as a positive sign. "Very nice contrast, Ethan. I can really see the details." "I love what you've done with the ponytail, Pixie. Good texture." "Look at those eyes, Casey. Brilliant!" So, it was a surprise when Mr. Lace slowed near Ada's seat and placed her picture facedown in front of her. His mouth flattened into something that was almost a smile. "Ada," he said. And nothing else. Ada turned over her picture. There was a note that read See me next to a check mark. Ada looked at her self-portrait. She had tried to draw a picture of herself--she really had. But it ended up looking like a sheepdog rather than a girl with floppy bangs. So instead she had drawn what was in her head: equations for Newton's second law, Einstein's mass-energy equation, and the Pythagorean theorem. She had thrown in some of her favorite constellations for good measure. The color she used wasn't like anyone else's, and she had added a little glitter to make certain details stand out. It had taken her a lot of time and effort, and she was pleased with the result. It revealed a side of her no one had seen before, which was, after all, one of the rules of the assignment. What could her dad--her art teacher--possibly have to talk to her about? She could barely pay attention the rest of the class. They were drawing cubes, cylinders, and spheres. She drew the cube over and over again and never moved on to the other forms. Nina ran up to her the second the bell rang. "Gosh, your father is a good teacher. I'm having THE BEST TIME in his class. He's so encouraging!" said Nina. "Heh, yeah! He's a real cheerleader," said Ada. "I don't just mean the grade. The grade barely matters! I'm sure everyone got a check plus," said Nina. "Right," said Ada. "Who wouldn't get a check plus?" "He just knows what to say," said Nina. "I was so nervous about choosing pink. But it really is my favorite color. And it turned out it was fine! It's just what you do with it." "Yeah," said Ada. "Nina, can I meet you at lunch? I have to talk to Mr. Lace." "Sure. Hee-hee! It's so funny to hear you call him that." Nina scooped up her stuff and bounced out of the classroom. Ada approached her father's desk. "Hey, Adita," said Mr. Lace. "If I have to call you Mr. Lace, Mr. Lace, I think you have to call me Ada." "You got it, kiddo," said Mr. Lace. But clearly he didn't get it, Ada thought, because he just replaced one pet name for another. "You said I should 'see you,' so I'm seeing you. See?" "I do see," said Mr. Lace. He clasped his hands together. "I know I'm not the best artist. I'm not like you and Mom. But I'm trying." "I know, sweetheart. And your work was fine. But it wasn't exactly what I assigned, now, was it?" "What do you mean?" Ada said. "That was my self-portrait." "Heh! That's funny. It doesn't look like you!" Mr. Lace chuckled. "Are these spheres your ears?" "It's my mind," said Ada. "I was being creative! Isn't that what you're supposed to do in art class?" "Well, yes. But sometimes we need guidelines to really challenge our creativity. And the brown is a little dark. . . ." "It's burnt umber!" said Ada. "What's wrong with it?" "Nothing. It's unusual, but unusual is fine--great even! It's mostly that you didn't try to draw a picture of yourself. If you had at least tried to show us your face, or profile, or even your left eye, I wouldn't even mention the brown. . . ." "Burnt umber," Ada mumbled. Mr. Lace took a breath. He let it out his nose. Ada saw a little bit of dry snot pop out and settle just outside his nostril. She thought about telling him, but changed her mind. "Okay, Ada. But the point is not the color. It's the assignment. I will always be your father, but now I'm your teacher, too. You can't just change the assignment as if this were an exercise we were doing together at home. Let me teach you. I give you guidelines to follow for a reason. Okay?" "If you say so, Mr. Lace," said Ada. "Good. I'll see you after school." Excerpted from Ada Lace Sees Red by Emily Calandrelli All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.