From Emily Calandrelli—host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the first novel in a brand-new chapter book series about an eight-year-old girl with a knack for science, math, and solving mysteries with technology.
Ada Lace—third-grade scientist and inventor extraordinaire—has discovered something awful: her neighbor’s beloved Yorkie has been dognapped!
With the assistance of a quirky neighbor named Nina (who is convinced an alien took the doggie) and her ever-growing collection of gadgets, Ada sets out to find the wrongdoer. As their investigation becomes more and more mysterious, Ada and Nina grow closer, proving that opposites do, in fact, attract.
Ada Lace, on the Case Chapter One GOOD-BYE WITH A SIDE OF BACON
Ada was sick of sitting. She was sick of the cast on her leg. She was sick of watching the world go by without her. She should be outside, exploring the neighborhood and researching the local wildlife, but she was stuck inside. And it was her own fault.
Their first week in San Francisco, Ada had attempted a bungee jump from a eucalyptus tree in the park. It was a jump she could have made with no bungee. The bungee was capable of stretching 50 percent of its length with her attached to it, but the branch was barely high enough to make the line taut. It was a careless mistake.
While Ada was brooding, her mom came in.
“Do you think you might come have breakfast with me before I go?” her mother asked.
“I guess so. I was hoping we could skip the good-bye part,” said Ada.
“I’ll only be gone for a few days,” said Ada’s mom. “These artists need a little bit of handholding. They aren’t as tough as you are. I’ll be back in time for your first day at school.”
Ada attempted a smile and, on her crutches, followed her mom down the stairs only to be nearly flattened by her brother, Elliott, outside the kitchen. He was wearing an eyepatch and a vest. A stuffed parrot hung lamely from his shoulder. Ada had been reading Treasure Island with Elliott. Now Elliott was determined to find buried treasure. Until then he was dressing the part.
“Easy there, mate,” said Ada’s mom. “You almost capsized your sister.”
“Yarr!” said Elliott. “That’s ‘Captain’ to you. Get that straight, lady, or you’ll walk the plank!”
“Tone it down, Elliott, or you’ll spend the weekend in your room,” said Ms. Lace.
“Sorry, me lady,” said Elliott.
“Do I have to make you swab the poop deck, Elliott?” asked Mr. Lace. He placed a plate of French toast in front of Ada. It had crossed eyes.
“Thanks, Pop,” said Ada. It was hard to stay grumpy around her dad.
“This blasted parrot won’t sit!” said Elliott.
“You need to secure his tail feathers.” Ada wrapped the string around the parrot’s tail and feet then tied it. “That requires a square knot. What you had was a granny.”
“Arrgh! There ye be, Ruffles. Good bird,” said Elliott.
“Ada, do you remember that lady we met at the farmer’s market? Glenda?” asked Ada’s mom. “Her daughter’s about your age. They live over on Polymer Street. You should get together with her.”
“And do what, jump rope?” said Ada, looking down at her cast.
“Very funny,” said Ada’s mom. “How about you have her over?”
Ada shrugged. She wasn’t in the mood to entertain.
“It would give you a head start on being the new kid,” said Ada’s mom. She stood, stuffing one last piece of bacon in her mouth. “Just think about it. I’ll leave the phone number.”
“Kay,” said Ada. Her mom gave her a kiss on the cheek. Ms. Lace hugged her husband and her son and collected her bags.
“Bon voyage!” yelled Elliott. “Bring me back some gold!”
Ada’s mom squatted beside Ada’s chair. “Cheer up, sweet pea. You’ll be the queen of Juniper Garden before you know it.”
Emily Calandrelli is an executive producer and the host of Xploration Outer Space, where she shows viewers the most exciting projects in the space industry today and a correspondent on the new series, Bill Nye Saves the World. Emily has a technical background with mechanical and aerospace engineering degrees from West Virginia University and Master’s degrees in aeronautics and astronautics as well as technology and policy from MIT. Emily is a professional speaker and writer and is passionate about exciting students and their families about science and space exploration. Emily is also deeply passionate about getting more girls interested in STEM and STEM careers. She lives in San Francisco. Learn more at TheSpaceGal.com.
Renée Kurilla is an illustrator of many books for kids, including Orangutanka: A Story in Poems by Margarita Engle, The Owls of Blossom Wood by Catherine Coe, and the Ada Lace Adventure series by Emily Calandrelli. She lives just south of Boston with her husband, their fluffy orange cat, Timmy, and their spiky hedgehog, Lemon. Visit her at Kurillastration.com.