Winner: 2015 Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year, Juvenile Nonfiction (Children's) Full of the inspirational stories girls need for exploring a future in science For centuries, women have risen above their traditional roles to pursue a new understanding of the natural world. This book, which grows out of an exhibit at the Grolier Club in New York, introduces the lives, sayings, and dreams of 16 women over four centuries and chronicles their contributions to mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and medicine. Some of the notable women portrayed in the book include French mathematician Marie-Sophie Germain, known for her work in Elasticity theory, differential geometry, and number theory; Scottish chemist Elizabeth Fulhame, best known for her 1794 work An Essay on Combustion ; and Rita Levi-Montalcini, who, with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of nerve growth factor. A companion volume to Magnificent Minds by the same author, this book offers inspiration to all girls and young women considering a life in the sciences.
Grades 9-12. Although Irène Joliot-Curie won her own Nobel Prize in chemistry, most readers will probably be more familiar with her mother, Marie Curie. Many of the other 16 female scientists featured in this collective biography have also been overlooked or forgotten by history, often because of their gender. Arranged chronologically, the book looks at pioneering women (born between 1706 and 1921 in the United States and Europe) in physics, chemistry, astronomy, electrical engineering, medicine, and mathematics. Among them are Sophie Germain, whose work in elasticity helped establish mathematical physics as an area of study, and Helen Taussig, whose research in pediatric congenital heart abnormalities began saving children’s lives. Each entry provides an overview of the scientist’s personal and professional lives and describes each woman’s obstacles and accomplishments in relation to her time period. In the introduction, the author explains the inclusion of only one scientist of color due to lack of opportunities earlier in history. Time lines, archival photographs and reproductions, sidebars, and highlighted quotations add useful visuals to the scholarly text.