I happened to notice that Hidden Figures, a book about African-American women mathematicians, will be available in a youth edition soon. (I’m on the list for it when it comes into the library already – woo hoo!) That got me thinking about all the great books about women in science I’ve come across lately. So, today I offer a short list of recent goodies:
Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins. Maria Merian, Mary Anning, and Maria Mitchell had a few things in common – they loved science and they lived in times which didn’t accept women as scientists. This novel in verse imagines their lives and research. It’s very accessible and would be a new way to get younger readers thinking about the wonders they see in their own lives and the extent to which they’d be willing to fight for the right to investigate them. What matters enough? When do you stand up for yourself, even if it’s uncomfortable? Do others still face these challenges now? So much to think about…
I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer & Christopher Eliopoulos. This one’s part of the “Ordinary People Change the World series, and it’s a keeper. It’s a sort of picture book-graphic novel blend, and it really shows how the kid who hid in the hay to observe chickens became the woman who studied chimpanzees and taught us so much about animal relationships. This one was so fun that I’ll be adding the others in the series to my TBR pile.
Ada Lovelace: Poet of Science by Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland. I mentioned this one in an earlier post. When I checked it out again to show to a friend, I reread it. Still great!
Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World by Rachel Swaby. You’ll find Ada Lovelace, Maria Mitchell and Mary Anning in this one, along with thirty other amazing women – some well-known and others not so much. Their biographies are short but very readable, and a nice way to find out about someone you might want to learn even more about!
Rad Women Worldwide and Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz. These books cover everyone from political leaders to athletes and singers, but some of the noted women are scientists, mathematicians, and environmental activists. Like the Trailblazers, these biographies are quick bites, not in-depth, but they’re perfect for kids looking for report subjects (they can research them more through other sources) and adults who are looking for shorter pieces to read on a commute, while waiting at a doctor’s office, eating lunch or whatever.
Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs & Sophia Foster-Dimino. This one’s super sassy and full of unexpected fun. Annie Smith Peck was both a suffragist and a mountaineer. Brita Tott was a spy and forger. Jacqueline Felice De Almania was a physician. Again, it’s all in quick bites, but when you think about women from what seems like long ago doing all these amazing things…. well, the future looks a little brighter.
So much to learn! So much to uncover! So much fun!