Rebecca Lim, Aussie STEM Stars, Eddie Woo, Wild Dingo Press, April 2021, 170 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781925893403
Eddie Woo: Superstar Maths Teacher is part of the first release of five books in a new real-life biographical series called Aussie Stem Stars. Each book in the series is written by an accomplished author, who helps readers discover what sort of everyday life can lead to someone becoming a ‘STEM star’. Eddie Woo’s story is beautifully told by award-winning author, Rebecca Lim.
In this true story, we learn about Eddie Woo, the well-known Australian maths teacher, legendary for his passionate dedication to sharing his teaching on his YouTube channel, WooTube.
Aimed at 10-13-year-old readers, Lim’s storytelling recounts Woo’s childhood, beginning with years of racially motivated bullying he was cruelly subjected to in primary school. Reading the opening chapters that detail the relentless bullying and how this impacted Eddie had me holding back tears to know that this was a young child’s daily experience.
The story continues through Eddie’s journey and success through high school leading to his unlikely development as a Maths teacher. Maths had been his least favourite subject!
More than just retelling facts and events, Rebecca Lim has captured the essence of Eddie’s story about the inner transformation that he experienced, simply because he was motivated to help others. The novel contains black and white line illustrations by Diana Silkina and some concepts are explained in illustrated call-out boxes which will help emerging readers.
Eddie’s story is a very inspiring read for children about being humble, growing self-belief, choosing empathy, striving for achievement, and finding strength. There is also a healthy dose of Eddie’s contagious passion for maths within the pages.
Each book in the Aussie Stem Stars series is supported by teaching notes, chapter samples and STEM resources. Teachers and readers can use www.AussieSTEMStars.com.au to follow Eddie’s lead to engage with the wonder of understanding our world through maths.
Reviewed by Angela Brown