I have watched and loved NCIS from the show’s beginning in 2003, and my favorite character has always been Abby Sciuto. She’s smart and funny and not afraid to be herself, even if “herself” isn’t what people expect when meeting a computer and science expert. Someone as accomplished and confident as Abby surely has developed her own taste in reading, but if she were to ask me for book recommendations, this is what I’d offer her:
The Martian by Andy Weir (2015 Alex Award) is a science-packed story about a failed Mars mission. Abby would understand the science behind Mark’s attempts to get himself back to Earth, and she might even have some other suggestions for things he could try in order to survive on the red planet.
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby (2008 Schneider Family Book Award) chronicles the life of Joey, a 13-year old who is missing out on a lot of things because she is deaf and her mother will not let her learn sign language. She meets a man who is teaching a chimp to sign, and through them Joey is able to find her voice. Abby’s mother was deaf, so Abby and Gibbs occasionally communicate using sign language. That, and the science aspect of this story, would appeal to Abby.
Pink by Lili Wilkinson (2012 Stonewall Honor Book) follows Ava as she trades in her anti-establishment goth persona for a “good girl” look involving lots of pink. Ava finds it difficult to maintain her good-girl guise, though, just as Abby felt uncomfortable when [temporarily] forced to follow a strict dress code at work.
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil features a science whiz named Josie who gets trapped in an alternate universe and has to use her knowledge of physics to return to Earth. The complex science discussed in this book, along with the paranormal/mystery aspect, would definitely appeal to Abby.
The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden takes place in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and in addition to a setting which Abby would love, the paranormal elements would appeal to her love of all things Gothic.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2009 Best Books for Young Adults) focuses on hacking and the unfortunate results when Marcus and his friends are wrongfully accused of plotting a terrorist attack. Abby has worked through the mystery of who is responsible for various attacks and crimes, and she’d likely be friends with Marcus and possibly recruit him to help her when she needs to hack into a site.
Notes From the Blender by Trish Cook forces a death-metal fan and bad boy to join with a popular gymnast when their parents choose to marry and combine their families. Abby would sympathize with Declan and his families’ lack of appreciation for his music and clothing choices.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Fairy tales. Cyborgs. Moon People. All things that Abby would find fascinating, and she could be drawn into this series just before the release of the final book, Winter.
–Jenni Frencham, currently reading Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman