'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 10 February 2020

Review: Marlow Brown: Scientist in the Making

Marlow Brown wants to be a scientist. She admires her Uncle Quentin’s ability to imagine ways of improving simple things. Even her dog Rockstar agrees with her.

Her dad doesn’t like the idea very much. In fact he likes very little about Uncle Q. He is untidy, leaves dirty cups everywhere, can’t find anything when he wants to and is believed to be a bad influence on Marlow.

It is the beanstalk that starts it all. Uncle Q used a tablet of gibberellic acid in his watering can and a dwarf bean became a giant. This puts the dot at the end of Marlow’s sentence.

Mum suggests to Marlow that she should act like the scientist she wants to become. This involves the diarising, planning, hypotheses and recording of her experiments and the results. 

But there are limits to what Marlow can access for her experiments, although she doesn’t believe so. First it’s ants in the cake tin (that has a cake in it). This causes Mum to put rules into place.  Experiments cannot involve insects.

The next experiment involves Rockstar at her birthday party. This too, does not go well and additional rules are added. The following includes plants and dye. This too, has repercussions. Can things get any worse? Experiments are banned. So is the use of the word experiment.

Will Mum’s reactions curb Marlow’s curiosity and stem the flow of her imagination? One more chance (influenced by Uncle Q) is what Marlow needs.

Marlow is an interesting and influencing leading female character. The fact that it is science she’s warmed to is a flow-on from the current focus on young girls and young women being enabled and encouraged in fields that were till now, mainly male-driven.

The book is full of positive reinforcement that whatever the gender, one must apply themselves to what they are most interested in. Do what you love. Follow your dream.

Title: Marlow Brown: Scientist in the Making
Author: Kesta Fleming
Illustrator: Marjory Gardner
Publisher: Celapene Press, $14.95
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925572186
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction