Women in STEAM

burleigh_solving the puzzle under the seaBurleigh, Robert  Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor
Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 pp.     Simon/Wiseman

Illustrated by Raúl Colón. This book spotlights groundbreaking scientist Marie Tharp, the oceanographic cartographer whose mapping of the Atlantic seafloor yielded key evidence confirming the theory of continental drift. Tharp holds the narrative reins here, and her voice, as imagined by Burleigh, generally rings true. Colón's illustrations, a textured wash of sea and earth tones, are thoughtful and attractive and accurately reflect the time period. Websites. Bib., glos.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Tharp, Marie; Women—Scientists; Oceans; Maps; Women—Biographies; Scientists; Oceanography

women's hist_conkling_radioactiveConkling, Winifred  Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science & Changed the World
Middle school, high school     227 pp.     Algonquin

Conkling's biography delves into the separate but ever-so-slightly-overlapping lives of Irène Curie, daughter of Marie and Nobel Prize–winning French physicist who co-discovered artificial radioactivity; and Austrian physicist Lise Meitner, who co-discovered nuclear fission. The majority of the book details the pioneering women's accomplishments and their lasting impact on the commercial, military, and scientific realms. Informative sidebars and captioned photographs are included throughout. Timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Women—Biographies; Women—Scientists; Scientists; Meitner, Lise; Nuclear physics; Curie, Irène; Physics

summer birdsEngle, Margarita  Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Holt

Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Challenging the superstition that "summer birds" — butterflies and moths — were evil creatures spawned from mud, thirteen-year-old Maria Merian observed their life cycles and painted them. Despite a few terminology flubs (substituting cocoon for chrysalis), the book shines a light on a little-known seventeenth-century entomologist and artist. Decorative illustrations, often set against a white backdrop, are meticulous and richly detailed. An author's note is included.
Subjects: Insects and Invertebrates; Merian, Maria Sibylla; Women—Artists; Artists; Animals—Caterpillars; Animals—Butterflies; Women—Scientists; Scientists

napoli_mama mitiNapoli, Donna Jo  Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya
Gr. K–3     40 pp.      Simon/Wiseman

Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. This picture book celebrates Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize–winner Wangari Maathai who, by encouraging women to plant trees, also gave them a way to improve their lives. Napoli's text is spare but powerful (e.g., "Kenya was strong once more, strong and peaceful"), and Nelson's collage illustrations have the pleasing beauty of a well-made quilt. Back matter supplies information about Maathai's Green Belt Movement. Websites. Glos.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Nobel Prize; Maathai, Wangari; Women—Biographies; Women—Legislators; Blacks; Legislators; Women—Blacks; Women—Conservationists; Trees; Kenya

sally_rideO'Shaughnessy, Tam  Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space
Gr. 4–6, middle school     154 pp.     Roaring Brook

The astronaut's girlhood friend and tennis partner (and eventual adult life partner) offers a personal look at the first American woman in space. While the tone is unabashedly adulatory and upbeat, it's illuminating to read an intimate's account of this icon. The selection of photos is copious if uncritical, giving the book a scrapbook look. Timeline. Ind.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Ride, Sally; Women—Biographies; Space—Astronautics; Women—Astronauts; Sports—Tennis

reef_florence nightingaleReef, Catherine  Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse
Middle school, high school     184 pp.     Clarion

Reef brings her keen eye for character to the "Lady with the Lamp." At a time when a woman was expected to "[obey] her husband," Florence Nightingale acquiesced to no one, finding meaning in her work and advancing the nursing profession like few before or since. Making fine use of primary sources, Reef paints a complete picture of the complex woman. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Nightingale, Florence; Nurses; Women—Nurses; Women—Biographies; England; Hospitals; War

From the March 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.




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