Ali the Inventor Saves the Garden!
by Amir Makin
A.I.C Publications

"We must always know that math and electronics are all around us."

Young Ali, local inventor and science and math enthusiast, has a firm belief that everything in our world involves math or engineering in some way. Following this creed, he travels the neighborhood looking for problems that can be solved with his scientific mind. It doesn't take Ali long before he comes across Mr. Maxwell, whose garden is dying off due to a faulty automatic sprinkler system. Ali takes the circuitry from the equipment and quickly deduces that a fault in the system's timer is preventing the sprinklers from ever getting the signal to water the plants. After consulting with a teacher, Ali comes up with a solution and repairs the sprinkler's timer system, returning it to Mr. Maxwell to be tested, with the hope of saving his garden.

There are a lot of positive messages for young people in this book that each deserve their own recognition. First is the emphasis on using science and mathematics to solve problems instead of physical strength or bravado. This gives children realistic expectations and encourages them to be diligent in their studies. Second is the amount of safety information in this book, which will give young readers plenty of warning before they begin taking apart anything they can. They will understand the risks and know how to protect themselves. Last but certainly not least is the young character of Ali, a boy of color, serving as a positive role model for children of other races. They can identify with Ali and feel proud alongside Ali for wanting to pursue a career in science or technology. Some of the concepts may be advanced, but this is a great book to urge on an inquiring, scientific young mind.

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