The Icarus Project by Laura Quimby
middle school & up
Maya's parents are both scientist who spend a lot of time in the field. Her mother is currently on a dig in the Brazilian rain forest. Her father has just been turned down for a grant but then is requested to work on a discovery in the Arctic. Maya accompanies her father to the dig site with high hopes. It is reported to be a complete frozen mammoth; however, it turns out that was a mammoth lie. What they find under the ice is much more interesting.
I really like this story. Maya is awesome. She talked her dad into letting her miss school to go on an expedition to the Arctic. The great thing was she didn't do it by begging and whining and stomping around the house. She did it with logic and presented it to her dad as a unique learning experience. And the best part of that? She wanted it as a learning experience; not just an excuse to ditch school. Can all the teachers give me a big "Wahoo!"
Science teachers will especially like Maya. They can use the discovery in the ice to talk about scientific procedure and why it is important to keep good notes. I think it is great to have a book with a girl character who isn't boy-crazy. Yay for science minded girls. It would have been nice though if Maya had gotten to see more of the actual excavation. That way we would have gotten to see it too.