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Ask Uncle Neil: Why is my hair curly?

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Is this book about a real woman in STEAM?

If an empowering book for young children is what you are looking for, you have found it in the book Ask Uncle Neil: why is my hair curly?

With this book, you will meet Anthony, a young boy who has his mother, Jessica, exasperated, as they are running late. While getting ready, Anthony starts to wonder why his hair is different than that of his classmates. From there, Anthony speaks with his Uncle Neil, who uses science to answer Anthony’s question.

Using hair as the vehicle, “Ask Uncle Neil: why is my hair curly?” encourages Black children to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

Consider getting this book for early readers of all races, as they are all curious by nature and interested in why their hair is the way it is.

The book also works as a gift for Black History Month.

Written by engineer Neil Thompson, the book is a motivational tool that lets Black children know that there are no careers that are off limits to them, especially careers in STEM. As long as they have the curiosity and determination to see things through, anything is possible!

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52
Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52
Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52


Neil Thompson


Cathy Bolio


Teach the Geek Kids

Recommended Ages:

5 - 9 years



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Girls Love STEAM Review:

Additional Reader & Professional Reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Story rich in cultural history, scientific reasoning, and family relationships
In the story, a young boy is curious about the texture of his hair and asks his mother about it. His mom advises that he calls Uncle Neil because he is a scientist. Anthony and his mom call Uncle Neil who provide a wealth of knowledge and scientific explanation. The story is powerful in its articulation of cultural history, scientific reasoning, critical thinking, and demonstrating the importance of family relations. I believe this short story is a good tool to use in the classroom to introduce the scientific method. It would be empowering to allow students to think of themselves as scientists/engineers, asking questions, brainstorming hypotheses, and coming up with possible solutions. My daughter and I truly enjoyed reading it and recommend it to other 1st to 3rd graders to read as well.
-- Professor John

4.0 out of 5 stars
A story that celebrates Black heritage, idenity, STEM, and family relationships.
I received an e-book copy through the author to review. Nine-year-old, Anthony becomes curious about the texture of his hair after brushing it which leads to him asking his mother questions about why his hair is different from his other classmates. His mom advices him to FaceTime his Uncle Neil, who is a scientist on her phone. After Uncle Neil answers his questions Anthony becomes excited as he learns about how his questions are answered using scientific consensus. Colorful graphic artwork enhances the storytelling as Anthony becomes excited about the possibilities of thinking for himself as a scientist/engineer, by asking questions, brainstorming hypotheses, and coming up with possible solutions. Author, Neil Thompson’s, Ask Uncle Neil: Why is my Hair Curly?, children’s book gives an exciting look into the scientific reasoning, critical thinking, Black cultural history, and family relationships. Young readers in grades 1-3 will see themselves through Anthony and becoming excited about using the scientific method to explore the world around them. This is an excellent read for children because Black people are underrepresented in the STEM fields and offers representation and celebration of Black identity. Thompson’s book would be recommended as a good purchase to add to a classroom library for students to browse or a school or public library to increase the science collection.
-- Angela Bair

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For ages 12 and under

Parent Permission Required

For ages 13-17

For ages 18 & Above

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