It's fascinating to watch students interact with Tanya Lee Stone's book about this iconic doll. If it's on display, most students will remark disparagingly about Barbie. But inevitably, someone will pick it up, take it to a table, and begin reading.
Barbie's creator, Ruth Handler, gets a biographical treatment here, and Stone shares Handler's insight into how Barbie came to be. Stone also explores the role of Barbie in so many girls' lives. Was she an icon of physical standards impossible to attain? Was she a feminist role model, with her surgeon's scrubs or her NASA spacesuit? And what was up with those feet, anyway?
Our eighth graders do a report on inventors toward the end of every year, and I love to highlight this book. Share it with your creative students, your future inventors and entrepreneurs, and those looking for a quirky read. Appropriate for grades 6 and up.