back to article Lizards for lunch? Crazy tech? Aliens?! Dana Dash: First Girl on the Moon is perfect for the little boffin-to-be in your life

In Dana Dash: First Girl on the Moon, it shouldn't be surprising that Dana Dash, a 10-year-old science-obsessed girl, makes it to and walks on the Moon – but that doesn't make it any less exciting. After one of her experiments blows up and she is banned from all her science classes at the public school Dana goes to, she and …

  1. Diodelogic

    An interesting review

    This book reminds me (vaguely) of a book I read when I was in the third grade: The Angry Planet, by John Keir Cross, which was full of unpleasant scenes with illustrations to match. It didn't have what I would call a "happy" ending. If a nine-year-old can enjoy Dana Dash then that's a good thing, with it's emphasis on STEM.

    Dr. Cavor sure gets around the time stream!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: An interesting review

      The name "Dr Cavor" and the overall outline of the story reminds me strongly of The First Men In The Moon.

      Does the story involve an invention of Dr Cavor called Cavorite and is it an anti-gravity element?

      1. Alan J. Wylie

        Re: An interesting review

        Competition, pre-teen genius girl, trip to the moon, evil aliens. Reminds me of Heinlein's Have Space Suit—Will Travel

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: An interesting review

          I was thinking of that and "Welcome to Mars!" by James Blish.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: An interesting review

          "Have Space Suit -- Will Travel" - I read that when I was 13. Awesome!

          Makes me wish I were 10 years old again, to read 'Dana Dash'. I wonder if she'll have a series like 'Danny Dunn' (which I read when I was a kid).

          1. Barry Rueger

            Re: An interesting review

            Podkayne of Mars too.

      2. John Savard Silver badge

        Re: An interesting review

        Or, rather, a substance that you put on the outside of the spaceship to prevent gravity from getting in to it? Yes, I remember Cavorite from H. G. Wells' First Men in the Moon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: An interesting review

          IIRC - It blocks gravity in the same way that something-or-other blocks light waves.

          IIRC2 - they make window blinds with the stuff, and so by rolling the blinds up and down they can steer the craft

      3. Raina McC

        Re: An interesting review

        Yes there is an anti- gravity machine but I dont know the name

  2. Joe W Silver badge

    Spoiler?

    She wrote "a main character", not "the main character" - I guess that's OK...

    My li'l boffins-to-be[0] are a bit too young, but I'll keep it in mind :)

    [0] or maybe they'll do something else but the curiosity is there, that's a good start.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    Harry Potter, but with science, instead of magic!

    Except for the part about breathing lizards, that might not be very scientific.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Harry Potter, but with science, instead of magic!

      Purely from observation and all that, but I suspect that most successful lizards breathe.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Harry Potter, but with science, instead of magic!

      Did their adventure start on Ventura Highway?

      Alligator lizards in the air?

    3. amess

      Re: Harry Potter, but with science, instead of magic!

      Wasn't it "breathing in lizards"? As in; inhaling

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Harry Potter, but with science, instead of magic!

        Yes. Perhaps that was meant to be "he was breeding lizards". But who knows. Lungs are vulnerable to nasty diseases and infiltrations, a trained squad of cleaners to go in there and tidy up might be useful.

        I think I heard about another book or series about a clever female junior scientist or possibly it was this one, but it was at least a little while ago. I listen to BBC including their World Service, national channel Radio 4, and archive of older programmes on Radio 4 Extra, so something that came past me more than once could be in any of those. But it seems not to be Dawn French or Lucy Hawking or any of this year's guests on "The Life Scientific". For instance, Stephen and Lucy Hawking wrote some children's adventures, but a boy named George seems to get all the title billing.

        There are others; Dora the Explorer of course, "Dino Dan" on television was evolved into "Dino Dana", and Marvel Comics has: "Moon Girl" and her T-Rex dinosaur with which she swaps minds INCONVENIENTLY, Nadia Van Dyne and her "Genius In action Research Labs" team who are older, Ironheart the teenage female Iron Man, Valeria Richards of the Fantastic Four, and Squirrel Girl (who mainly knows about computers and squirrels) - though these were mostly paused after a while and then there was COVID-19 and no comics. But I'm sure they'll be all right.

  5. Youngone Silver badge

    Thank you

    That is a very nice book review. I have a young niece who might like it.

  6. Michael Hoffmann
    Meh

    Ebook?

    With global shipping an utter disaster right now, is there an ebook available? The link provided only shows a paperback. :(

    1. Raina McC

      Re: Ebook?

      I don't know

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Headmaster

    How about someone whose first language is not English?

    My granddaughter speaks some English but is a native German speaker; the review style seemed older than that - is the writer somewhat precocious or should we detect the fine hand of a sub-editor in there?

    Either way, I think this represents a fine chance for her to read with Opa! (if I can get the minecraft controller out of her hands for ten minutes...)

    1. Raina McC

      Re: How about someone whose first language is not English?

      I wrote every word but my edior(my dad) helped me with my punctuation and some of the long and hard to spell words

  8. RobLang

    Excellent review!

    Splendid review, well written. I'm sold.

  9. NeilPost Bronze badge

    STEM

    Science

    Technology

    Engineering

    Maths (with an s).... FFS. The word is plural.

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: STEM

      Although there are different parts of mathematics, the word itself is single. Have a look at https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/math-or-maths

      Not all words that end in S are plural. Bus, moss and kiss are examples.

      1. A K Stiles Silver badge

        Re: STEM

        Alternatively, https://www.dailywritingtips.com/math-or-maths/

        "Both the Oxford and the Merriam-Webster dictionaries say the word is plural – hence the s on the end – but also that it is usually used as if it was a singular noun."

        "There are a number of other plural nouns that are used as if they were singular – for example economics, ethics, politics, gymnastics, measles and dominoes. These words, however, are not habitually shortened, making math/maths rather an unusual word."

        Horses for courses.

        1. tapanit
          Headmaster

          Re: STEM

          Curiously, while I'd use "maths" with -s in other contexts, I would never use the -s version in the expression "Do the math!".

  10. drand
    Thumb Up

    Another one for the list

    Thank you to the Vulturette for the review. I will add this to the list of school holiday reading. With libraries closed the book bill for two young readers is getting steep, but good books are always a worthwhile investment.

  11. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
    Pint

    Nice.

    Great review. Have a drink for youngsters that only looks like beer ---------------->

    My two female grandmunchkins will appreciate this for a random present.

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