A Month with April-May by Edyth Bulbring

CoverI wanted Mrs Ho out of my life. I wanted her to leave Trinity College. But God and your angels, shut your eyes on my vengeful plans, I never wanted Mrs Ho to be dead.

If you love smart and funny girls who tell it like it is, there’s a new girl for you to meet in A Month with April-May by Edyth Bulbring. Her name is April-May February … seriously. And her bizarre name is only the beginning of April-May’s troubles.

April-May has won a scholarship to the ultra-posh Trinity Academy, but her disastrous first day doesn’t bode well for the year to come. After being yelled at for having the wrong colour bag and too-bright socks, she is forced to sit next to the class mouth-breather and is soon engaged in a power struggle with the infuriating Mrs Ho. Isolated and unable to fit in, she finds solace and inspiration in the beautiful Sebastian and his gang, who are impressed by her rebellious attitude.

CoverWill April-May hang on to her scholarship at the Academy? Will her father “Fluffy” ever get her school uniform back? And will Sebastian lead her into more danger than even April-May can cope with? Her story is a funny one but will pull on your heartstrings.

Author Edyth Bulbring is a South African writer whose books are so popular that they are part of the national curriculum for year 7 to 8, and this book is flavoured with the youth culture and slang of Johannesburg. Keep an eye out for the sequel 100 Days of April-May.

If you  liked April-May, you might like:

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Cherry Crush (Chocolate Box Girls #1) Cathy Cassidy
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Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1) Holly Smale
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Look Into My Eyes (Ruby Redfort #1) Lauren Child
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Emily
New Brighton Library

Inspiring girls to work in STEM – Ada Lovelace Day 2016

Today is Ada Lovelace Day – a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and science. It’s celebrated on the second Tuesday in October.

STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is a field that needs more women. Careers NZ looks at where women are working in STEM, and job opportunities.

Having inspiring examples for girls and young women is an important part of adding balance into the sector. Curious  Minds – He Hihiri i te Mahara does it well – Increasing girls’ and women’s participation in STEM publishes profiles of women in science, technology and engineering, and new profiles are added each week. Dr Victoria Metcalf’s New Zealand women in STEM – talented and diverse is a cool look into Curious Minds.
Like Curious Minds on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Fabriko Electronic Stickers Fun Palace
Fabriko Electronic Stickers Fun Palace, Central Library Peterborough. Sunday 2 October 2016. Flickr 2016-10-2-IMG_6300

STEM at libraries and learning centres

Science Snippets in the library hosted by Science Alive! After school sessions start back next week Monday 17 October.

Anna and Gen from Science Alive!
Anna and Gen from Science Alive!

See also:

Books to give girls STEM inspiration

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Our previous Ada Lovelace Day posts

Walking, Talking

Living Dolls is another of those must reads for Feminists. It discusses the worrying backlash against feminism and a return to sexism.  Talking primarily about society in the UK it dissects the hyper-sexualisation of women and girls. Images from popular media to internet porn have reversed social taboos so that prostitution is glamourised and women once denied the right to a sexual identity are now ostracised as prudish and old-fashioned if they don’t claim their “rights” to  flaunt their sexuality.

Natasha Walter discusses how this narrow range of acceptable behaviour for women to behave as “ladettes” is just as restrictive as in the past. Now young women are seen as outsiders if they choose to dress conservatively and not be promiscuous, the ” ideal” woman is that of a Barbie doll.  The pressure to conform is so intense, that worryingly even some of the top academic students in the country (gaining firsts at Cambridge) feel more defined by their looks than their achievements.

Walter also discusses the recent return to the ideology of biological determinism. Whilst in the 1970s and 1980s, gender “appropriate” behaviour was thought to be learnt by social conditioning, recent “research” seems to indicate that there are inherent differences between girls and boys. Boys are said to be more aggressive and naturally better at logic, mathematics and spatial awareness whilst girls are better at language, empathy, and building relationships . In a manner similar to Ben Goldacre in Bad Science , Walter reveals many of these modern “facts” to be based on poor research and that studies showing the opposite or no effect are ignored by the media.

Arguing, that these “facts” affect girls own views of their abilities and life choices and lead to women as being thought of as ideally suited to be caregivers rather than chief executives. This book is a passionate call to arms for feminists everywhere to renew their fight.

Other recent feminist reads: