Curious McCarthy’s Power of Observation – Torey Christie

Illustrations – Mina Price

I love Curious McCarthy, the book and the person! I adored Curious before I read a word of this book. From the first glance of her on the cover I knew she was going to be my kind of girl.

Curie (Curious) McCarthy was named after Marie Curie, a famous scientist. She is the middle child in a family with seven children! She has three older sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne) and three younger brothers (John Glenn, Benjamin and Edison). Her mother is a full time English professor and her father, a retired engineer, is now a stay at home Dad.

Curious just started fourth grade at a new school, not because her family moved, but because the school district decided to change the boundary lines. All of her friends still attend her previous school. Curious has been a scientist for 6 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes.

In this book we go to school with Curious, we visit the school library and the principal’s office, attend Secret Sister Society (SSS) meetings and sit in on some entertaining dinners. Along the way Curious is learning how to be a scientist by making hypotheses, conducting experiments, and coming to conclusions, while also learning about chain reactions and germs.

Other than Curious’ family we get to know her teacher (Mrs Stickler), her school librarian (Mr Grumpus), her school principal (Mr Cornforth), Aunt Dolly, a likely friend (Lin Tran), and an unlikely friend (Robin Finch).

The way this book was written it felt like Curious was sitting across from you telling you her story. I would have loved this book as a child and would have wanted to be Curious’ friend. I love it just as much as a grown up.

All of the McCarthy kids had distinct and interesting personalities, and from about the middle of the book I could tell which one was speaking just by what they said. Theirs is a lovely family that I want to know more about.

I loved the illustrations and found it particularly helpful to be introduced to all of the characters in this book through the two pages of pictures and descriptions before the story started. In the beginning of the book when I didn’t know who was who yet I could quickly flip back to these pages to remind myself which McCarthy we were hearing about.

I found the science in this book wonderful. It was explained in an age appropriate way and it all sounded like so much fun that I can imagine a whole pile of girls deciding they’re going to be scientists when they grow up after reading this book. I learned some fun facts myself from reading but because it was so much fun it didn’t feel like the drudgery that’s usually associated with learning.

I loved the coloured footnotes. In the back of the book there were some fun extras, including a glossary that explained what the more difficult words in the book meant and how to say them, and a recipe for Oobleck!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read this book. Young girls are going to love this book and their parents are going to love reading this to their girls (or themselves). I enjoyed this book so much I’m going to be purchasing the other three books in the series.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Curious McCarthy, named after the famous scientist Marie Curie, has decided to become a scientist herself. Her first hypothesis: That her mischievous younger brother will get noticed before her proper oldest sister, Charlotte. Using footnotes filled with funny observations, Curious invites readers to read her observations about her first days at a new school with an old-fashioned teacher and her entertaining evenings at home with her six brothers and sisters. A fun experiment brings the science to life and a glossary and discussion and writing prompts provide reader support.