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Science Is For Girls

35 Books About Female Scientists

A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children and teens about real-life female scientists who changed the world!

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"Young girls need to see role models in whatever career they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can't be what you can't see." — Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space

When someone mentions scientists, chances are good that the face that pops into mind is male: perhaps a picture of Albert Einstein or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or maybe a more generic man in a lab coat. However, even when women were largely shut out of science, there were still groundbreaking women making discoveries, conducting experiments, and publishing research! And while school curricula and popular culture are slowly expanding to include women beyond a few notable favorites such as Marie Curie and Jane Goodall, many people — young and old alike — still often find themselves struggling to name even a handful of female scientists.

Fortunately, with the increasing availability of great biographies for children and teens, we can show our girls that women in science make contributions every day! And, of course, these titles are just as important to share with boys because all kids need to know that science is for girls! With that in mind, we've showcased our favorite biographies of female scientists for children and teens. From primatology to physics, the expanses of space to the vast floor of the ocean, these women made their mark and changed the way we see the world... just like the budding Mighty Girl scientists of today will one day!

For fictional stories featuring Mighty Girl scientists and engineers, check our our blog post Ignite Her Curiosity: 25 Books Starring Science-Loving Mighty Girls.

30 Biographies of female Scientists

Me...Jane

Me...Jane

Written by: Patrick McDonnell
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

Who knew that the young girl who carried a stuffed chimpanzee around with her would redefine the meaning of human? In this charming story of Jane Goodall's childhood, readers learn how she first developed her interest in the natural world — as well as her patience when observing animals in their own environment, which she practiced on her family's chickens! This inspirational picture book biography focuses on Goodall's childhood, but includes a picture of Goodall with the chimps at Gombe to show how she realized her dreams. Fans of Goodall will also want to check out The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps for ages 4 to 8, as well as our Jane Goodall Collection with many titles for all ages.

Mae Among The Stars

Mae Among The Stars

Written by: Roda Ahmed
Illustrated by: Stasia Burrington
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Mae Jemison famously became the first black woman in space on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992 but years before that historic journey, she was a little girl who dreamed of dancing in space. Her mother told her, "If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible." Little Mae's curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents' encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA. This inspirational introduction to a trailblazing astronaut will encourage children to reach for the stars and never give up on their dreams.

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

Written by: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

In the Middle Ages, people believed that caterpillars were spontaneously generated from muck and mud, but even as a child, Maria Merian disagreed! As a young woman naturalist and artist, she watched and illustrated as caterpillars spun their cocoons, rested within, and emerged as "summer birds" — moths and butterflies. Her remarkable illustrations proved an astounding natural process: metamorphosis. This joyful and vibrant picture book biography aptly captures the passion Merian had for the beauties and wonders of the natural world.

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Written by: Claire A. Nivola
Illustrated by: Claire A. Nivola
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

As a  young girl swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Sylvia Earle developed a passion for the sea and the life within it. As an adult, she dove even deeper into the subject — literally! From designing new submersibles to swimming with the whales to deep-water walks in special dive suits, Earle has explored one of the most mysterious places still left on Earth; our vast oceans. And as Time Magazine's first Hero for the Planet — who is affectionately referred to as the Sturgeon General by colleagues — she is one of the most passionate voices for protecting what she calls "the blue heart of the planet." This exquisite picture book biography will fascinate young readers.

Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer

Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer

Written by: Robert Burleigh
Illustrated by: Raul Colon
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

When Henrietta Swan Leavitt was hired by the Harvard College Observatory, it wasn't to observe the skies herself: instead, she was hired as a human "computer," and set to studying photographic plates that male colleagues had taken at the telescope. She spent years measuring star positions and sizes and, over time, discovered that certain stars had a fixed pattern to their changes — a discovery that allowed astronomers to understand the true size of the universe and brought Leavitt recognition as a pioneer of astronomical science. Award-winning artist Raul Colon's illustrations particularly shine in this appealing picture book biography.

I Am Jane Goodall

I Am Jane Goodall

Written by: Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by: Christopher Eliopoulos
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

This captivating picture book tells the story of Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist who turned her love of nature and science into a career that not only revolutionized our understanding of what it means to be human, but also opened the door for generations of female scientists after her. From her childhood escapades, hiding in the family chicken coop so she could see a hen lay an egg first hand, to her decades of research in Africa, this book shows how Goodall turned her natural talents into a career that changed the world. Filled with colorful illustrations, this new addition to the Ordinary People Change The World Collection strikes a wonderful balance between information and inspiration and sends a strong message to kids about the importance of determination in achieving your goals.

Brave Clara Barton

Brave Clara Barton

Written by: Frank Murphy
Illustrated by: Sarah Green
Recommended Age: 5 - 7

As a child, Clara Barton struggled with shyness and fear... but her beloved brother insisted that she would find a way to change the world. When he suffered a terrible injury, Clara helped him recover — and found her life's work. Clara Barton would go on to become a teacher, a nurse on the front lines of the Civil War, and the founder of the American Red Cross. This Step Into Reading level 3 early reader biography of this inspiring role model will encourage young readers to face their own fears and follow their dreams.

Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon

Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon

Written by: Jeannine Atkins
Illustrated by: Michael Dooling
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

Over two hundred years ago, a teenager who gathered seashells to supplement her family's income made an astounding discovery! Mary Anning, the discoverer of the first complete ichthyosaur skeleton, would become famous not only for her incredible luck — she also found two complete plesiosaur skeletons, the first pterosaur skeleton outside of Germany, and many important fossils of fish — but also for her observations that changed the way people thought about prehistoric life. This picture book biography captures Anning's determination, intelligence, and patience at a time when no women could fully participate in the scientific world.

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Written by: Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by: Katy Wu
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Grace Hopper was a software tester, a creative inventor, and a top-notch mentor — but she was also a famous rule-breaker, risk-taker, and sometimes a real trouble-maker! In this riveting picture book biography of the woman nicknamed "Amazing Grace," author Laurie Wallmark captures the determination and cleverness of the woman who invented the COBOL computer language, allowing people to "talk" to computers with typed commands. Fun anecdotes — like the time she found a literal bug in the computer — provide a glimpse into the extraordinary life of this accomplished woman, who famously knew that it's always better to ask forgiveness than permission...and that quick thinking and insatiable curiosity were the key to pushing a (sometimes reluctant) world forward!

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World

Written by: Laurie Lawlor
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

As a shy young woman, Rachel Carson found joy and purpose in studying the creatures all around her. Her articles and books about marine life made her a best-selling author, but it was her groundbreaking book Silent Spring, about the effects of the pesticide DDT on wild animals and birds, that turned her into a household name. Along the way, she would help found the modern environmental movement. Written for the fiftieth anniversary of Silent Spring's publication, this thoughtful picture book shows how a quiet and dedicated scientist changed the way people thought of their effects on the Earth. Middle grade readers interested in learning more about Carson can check out Who Was Rachel Carson? from the Who Was...? biography series for ages 8 to 12. For more books resources on Carson, visit our Rachel Carson Collection.

The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

Written by: Julia Finley Mosca
Illustrated by: Daniel Rieley
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Temple Grandin was considered a strange girl, and doctors told her mother she'd never speak, let alone have a productive life. But her mother refused to believe it: she saw potential in her observant and creative child. As Temple grew, she attended school, got part-time jobs, and started learning how to articulate the different way that her mind worked: her astounding visual memory even allowed her to draw whole blueprints just from one tour through a facility, and her empathy with animals helped her design spaces that help them stay calm. Today, she is a powerful voice in science, advocating for autistic people like herself. This picture book biography told in rhyming text is an inspiring introduction to an important figure in scientific history. Older kids can read about Grandin's story in Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World for ages 9 to 14.

Swimming With Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark

Swimming With Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark

Written by: Heather Lang
Illustrated by: Jordi Solano
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

From the moment she saw a shark swimming in an aquarium as a girl, Eugenie Clark was fascinated — but as far as the world was concerned, sharks were mindless and dangerous eating machines. As the Japanese-American girl grew, she became a scientist — a surprising choice for a young woman in the 1940s — and made groundbreaking discoveries about the beautiful, mysterious ocean creatures that she loved. This beautiful picture book biography of the "Shark Lady" is a celebration of the wonder of nature and of a daring woman who changed the way the world saw the ocean. For another biography about Clark, check out Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist.

Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Written by: Lindsey McDivitt
Illustrated by: Eileen Ryan Ewen
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

As a child, Gwen Frostic suffered a mysterious illness that left her with symptoms similar to cerebral palsy, but she didn't let that stop her from filling her life with science and art. She loved nature, and she had both a creative gift and a knack for building. As an adult, she set up her own metal shop, and became one of the first people to experiment with plastic for creating art. Then, during World War II, with no metal to spare for her shop, she became a tool and die drafts person, helping build bomber planes — one of the few women in the job. This engaging picture book tells Frostic's story of combining art, nature, and engineering into a creative life unlike any other.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Written by: Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by: April Chu
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Thanks to her mathematically talented mother, Anne Isabella Byron, young Ada Lovelace had the opportunity to develop her remarkable intelligence. Years later, when she met Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, he named her the Enchantress of Numbers for her astounding mathematical skills. Little did either of them know that, when she designed an algorithm for Babbage’s Analytical Engine, she would be making history — by writing the world’s first computer program! With vivid artwork and intriguing anecdotes about Lovelace's genius, this picture book biography pays homage to a little-known but deeply influential figure in computing history — the world's first computer programmer. Ada's story is also told in two more delightful new picture books, Ada's Ideas and Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science.

Caroline's Comets: A True Story

Caroline's Comets: A True Story

Written by: Emily Arnold McCully
Illustrated by: Emily Arnold McCully
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Caroline Herschel was the youngest child in a poor family, and nobody expected her to amount to anything — especially once she ended up scarred by smallpox and stunted by typhus. Her family used her as a scullery maid, but her brother William saw something different in her, so when he left for England, he took her with him. Together, the astronomy-loving brother and sister built the greatest telescope of their age, which Caroline used to discover fourteen nebulae and two galaxies. She even became the first woman to discover a comet — and the first woman officially employed as a scientist. This picture book biography of the groundbreaking astronomer will inspire kids with her spirit of curiosity and resilience.

The Girl With A Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague
New!

The Girl With A Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague
New!

Written by: Julia Finley Mosca
Illustrated by: Daniel Rieley
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

As a 7-year-old during WWII, Raye Montague toured a captured German submarine and immediately set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know that sexism and racism would challenge her dream every step of the way. Raye ended up working at the US Navy as a typist, studying engineering at night. One day, when all the engineers were sick with the flu, she astonished everyone by completing all of their work. She went on to become the first person to design a ship on a computer and the Navy's first female ship designer. This inspiring picture book from the Amazing Scientists series celebrates a pioneer who changed ship design forever.

Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing

Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing

Written by: Dean Robbins
Illustrated by: Lucy Knisley
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers; as a child, she loved studying algebra and calculus and she even knew exactly how many miles to the moon and back. But the best part of math was when it could solve a problem in the real world! Her love of math took her to studies at MIT and then to a job at NASA, where they were planning a mission to the moon...and computers were going to be a part of it. Hamilton hand-wrote the code for the Apollo missions — and when a last-minute problem cropped up as Apollo 11 prepared for a lunar landing, it was Hamilton's forward-thinking code that saved the day! This lively look at a pioneering of mathematics and computing is a great way to show young readers that math really can take you to the stars.

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor

Written by: Robert Burleigh
Illustrated by: Raul Colon
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Marie Tharp's father was a mapmaker, but by the the time she was grown, there wasn't much left to map... or was there? In fact, people knew almost nothing about the ocean floor, and Tharp decided that she would be the first to map the mysterious depths of the Atlantic. Although she faced many challenges — including being turned away from research ships because it was "bad luck" to have a woman on board — Tharp took bits and pieces of data from many sources to assemble the first map of the ocean floor — and discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, evidence that helped prove the theory of plate tectonics. This fascinating story is sure to inspire children to seek out even more of the world's mysteries.

The Doctor With An Eye For Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath

The Doctor With An Eye For Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath

Written by: Julia Finley Mosca
Illustrated by: Daniel Rieley
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

When Patricia Bath was coming of age, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. The intelligent young woman was determined to become a doctor, but she had many obstacles in her way: racism, sexism, and poverty all seemed to be working against her. Nevertheless, she continued to strive, and she broke new ground for both women and African Americans in her chosen field of ophthalmology. And when she invented the Laserphaco Probe in 1981, she created a quick and nearly painless way to treat cataracts — one which has now been used on millions of patients around the world, in some cases restoring vision to people who had been unable to see for years. This inspiring story, which includes a note from Bath herself, highlights the power of fighting for a dream.

Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World

Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World

Written by: Jen Cullerton Johnson
Illustrated by: Sonia Lynn Sadler
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari Maathai was unique for being allowed to earn an education; she also learned traditional Kikuyu reverence for nature. As a young adult, she had the opportunity to attend university in the US, but she always planned to return to her home. When she did, she combined her newfound scientific education with her appreciation for good husbandry of natural resources to found the Green Belt Movement, which not only provided sustainable work for women across Kenya, but also helped them replant millions of trees and restore the land's natural beauty. This vibrant picture book biography of the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize is a true showstopper. Fans of this book can also check out Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya for ages 4 to 8 or the other resources in our Wangari Maathai Collection.

You Should Meet: Katherine Johnson

You Should Meet: Katherine Johnson

Written by: Thea Feldman
Illustrated by: Alyssa Petersen
Recommended Age: 6 - 8

She's been called one of the greatest American minds of all time, and when NASA first started using computers to calculate launch trajectories, they only trusted them after she double checked the math! Katherine Johnson broke both gender and racial boundaries when she started working for NASA in the 1950s as a human computer, performing the complex calculations necessary to launch rockets, satellites, and eventually, the Apollo 11 moon mission. Fans of the hit movie Hidden Figures will be excited to read their very own book about Johnson from Ready to Read's You Should Meet series. Older readers can check out Hidden Figures Young Readers Edition for ages 8 to 13.

You Should Meet: Mae Jemison

You Should Meet: Mae Jemison

Written by: Laurie Calkhoven
Illustrated by: Monique Dong
Recommended Age: 6 - 8

Mae Jemison dreamed of becoming an astronaut from childhood. She went to medical school and joined the Peace Corps, but she never forgot that dream — so in 1985, she applied to NASA, and in 1992, Jemison became the first African-American woman to go into space! In this Level 3 Ready-To-Read book from the You Should Meet non-fiction series, newly independent readers can learn all about Jemison's fascinating life and career. Additional material at the end includes information about math and history, and even a timeline with fun facts about space!

You Should Meet: Women Who Launched The Computer Age

You Should Meet: Women Who Launched The Computer Age

Written by: Laurie Calkhoven
Illustrated by: Alyssa Petersen
Recommended Age: 6 - 8

Meet the women who programmed the first all-electronic computer and built the technological language kids today can't live without in this fascinating, nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read book! In 1946, six brilliant young women programmed the first all-electronic, programmable computer, the ENIAC, part of a secret World War II project. They learned to program without any programming languages or tools, and by the time they were finished, the ENIAC could run a complicated calculus equation in seconds. But when the ENIAC was presented to the press and public, the women were never introduced or given credit for their work. Learn all about what they did and how their invention still matters today in this story of six amazing young women everyone should meet!

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

Written by: Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by: Jessica Lanan
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Young Anna Comstock adored being outside: she spent her days enjoying nature and observing everything she could, from ants on the move to the constellations in the sky. And even though many people thought science was only for men, she went to university and continued to study. She became famous as a nature expert and artist, creating many stunning books about nature. As a leader of the nature study movement, Comstock also believed it was important to foster children's appreciation for nature and created one of the earliest school curriculum focused on studying nature outdoors. This charming biography not only celebrates a pioneer for women in science, but also celebrates the joy of studying the great outdoors.

Nothing Stopped Sophie

The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

Nothing Stopped Sophie

The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

Written by: Cheryl Bardoe
Illustrated by: Barbara McClintock
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

People in the 18th century thought learning math could hurt a woman's health, so when Sophie Germain was a child, her parents even took away her candles at night so she couldn't see to study. However, she was determined to follow her dreams, and spent six years working to prove a math problem that male scholars had declared unsolvable. When she developed an equation that could predict patterns of vibrations — which laid the groundwork for much of modern architecture — she became the first woman to win a grand prize from France's Academy of Sciences. This exuberant picture book biography captures the triumphant life of a pioneering and under-recognized mathematician.

Hidden Figures Young Readers Edition

Hidden Figures Young Readers Edition

Written by: Margot Lee Shetterly
Recommended Age: 8 - 13

Before people could orbit the Earth or fly to the moon, there was a group of "human computers": dedicated female mathematician who used pencil and slide rule to calculate how to launch rockets. Four African-American women, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, were critical to the story of space flight -- and yet their story was largely untold. In this young readers edition of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, tweens will learn how these women, so little appreciated in their time, changed both NASA and America for the better.

Sally Ride: Life on a Mission

Sally Ride: Life on a Mission

Written by: Sue Macy
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Sally Ride is famous as the first American woman in space, but she was also so much more:  a brilliant physicist who loved English literature, a nationally ranked tennis player, an advocate for girls and women in science careers, and a role model for both girls and to the LGBTQ community. In this comprehensive biography, Sue Macy gives equal treatment both to her groundbreaking role as an astronaut, to her work with NASA after her time in space (including her role in the Challenger investigation), and to her education and advocacy work after she left NASA. It's a fitting tribute to the woman who changed how girls saw the future. For more resources about this inspiring scientist, visit our Sally Ride Collection.

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Written by: Anita Silvey
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

In her nearly 60 year career, Jane Goodall went from an oddity — a woman researching primates in the wild? — to one of the world's most recognizable scientists and conservationists. Along the way, she changed the way we think about our planet — and what it means to be human. In this beautiful biography of Goodall, readers will learn about her amazing achievements, born of her remarkable ability to connect with the chimpanzees she sought to study. Primary sources and full-color photographs create a vivid and inspiring depiction of this trailblazing scientist. Fans can also check out Who Is Jane Goodall? from the popular Who Was...? biography series for ages 8 to12 or find many more titles in our Jane Goodall Collection.

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Written by: Jeannine Atkins
Recommended Age: 9 - 14

A gorgeously written novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists. Maria Merian was sure that caterpillars were not wicked things born from mud, as most people of her time believed. More than a century later, Mary Anning helped her father collect stone sea creatures from the cliffs in southwest England. Intrepid and patient, she eventually discovered fossils that would change people’s vision of the past. Across the ocean, Maria Mitchell longed to discover a new comet and after years of studying the night sky, she finally did. Told in vibrant, evocative poems, this stunning novel celebrates the joy of discovery and finding wonder in the world around us.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

Written by: Rachel Ignotofsky
Recommended Age: 9 and up

This charmingly illustrated and educational book highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection profiles well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!

The Elephant Scientist

The Elephant Scientist

Recommended Age: 9 and up

When Caitlin O'Connell traveled to Namibia for the first time, local villagers hated elephants: the animals could easily break down fences and eat an entire year's worth of stored food in a single night. Scientists were desperate to help the elephants; the villagers were desperate to preserve their livelihood. O'Connell decided to study the behavior of the elephants to see if she could find a way to protect both; that desire led to surprising discoveries about how elephants communicate — discoveries that have been used successfully to keep elephants away from farmland. Full of exquisite photographs, this biography of the woman called "the mother of all elephants" is sure to delight animal lovers. Fans of this volume can check out the rest of the Scientists in the Field series.

Temple Grandin: How The Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

Temple Grandin: How The Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

Recommended Age: 9 - 14

When Temple Grandin was born, autism was newly described — and a diagnosis meant a life in an institution. But her mother refused to believe that her daughter was incapable of learning, and to everyone's amazement, Grandin learned to speak and attended a regular school. As a teen, a love of science and an empathy with animals around her, who also found themselves overwhelmed and frightened by sensory stimuli, led her to a career in the animal sciences, where she has revolutionized the livestock industry and provided a role model for autistic people around the world. This compelling biography shows readers that a different way of seeing the world can be of tremendous value in scientific discovery.

Marie Curie For Kids: Her Life and Scientific Discoveries, with 21 Activities and Experiments

Marie Curie For Kids: Her Life and Scientific Discoveries, with 21 Activities and Experiments

Written by: Amy M. O'Quinn
Recommended Age: 9 and up

Over decades of groundbreaking scientific work, Marie Curie created the field of atomic physics and coined the term "radioactivity" — but to do so, she had to overcome many challenges, including the limitations and prejudices directed at women in science. In this book, kid can learn about Curie's life while doing hands-on experiments and activities of their own! While reading about Curie's work — including her title as the only person ever to win Nobel Prizes in two different scientific disciplines — kids will also make a model of the element carbon, examine World War I X-rays, and even try their own Polish pierogies. It's an excellent way to step into the shoes of this remarkable and trailblazing scientist.

Sea Turtle Scientist

Sea Turtle Scientist

Written by: Stephen R. Swinburne
Recommended Age: 9 and up

Dr. Kimberly Stewart is known as the Turtle Lady of St. Kitts for her devotion to preserving and studying the leatherback sea turtle. Although the 800-pound adult turtles don't look like they need protecting, only one in a thousand sea turtle eggs laid on the beach will reach adulthood. So Dr. Stewart is not only collecting data to understand the turtles better, but also sharing her knowledge with local residents so that they can find sources for food and income that don't risk the species' survival. In this 2014 addition to the Scientists in the Field series, renowned author and photographer Stephen R. Swinburne uses dramatic photographs and a detailed history of the leatherback turtle and Dr. Stewart's work to show how science and the community are pairing up to protect the species.

Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World

Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World

Written by: Rachel Swaby
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

Virginia Apgar. Sally Ride. Rachel Carson. These names are etched in history and included here as part of this awe-inspiring collection of profiles of some of the world's most influential women in science. Author Rachel Swaby delves into the minds of thirty-three such women, whose vision, creativity, passion and dedication have helped make important strides in the world of science -- who have in fact changed the world. Middle grade kids will be fascinated by these snapshot profiles of 33 of history's most important female scientists. This volume for middle readers is an adaptation of the author's best-selling book for teens and adults, Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science -- And The World.

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

Written by: Tanya Lee Stone
Recommended Age: 10 - 14

In 1958 America, as the quest for space was just beginning, NASA had a rule that an astronaut had to have military pilot experience — and of course, the military only accepted men in those roles. But some people wondered if some of the equally daring women pilots of the day belonged on the first space missions. This book tells the little-known story of the Mercury 13 women, who underwent astronaut testing and training decades before the first American woman would go to space. For kids who have grown up with both male and female astronauts, reading about the Mercury 13 and their quest for the stars will shed new light on how far we've come — and how far we have to go.

Radioactive!: How Irene Curie and Lise Mietner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World

Radioactive!: How Irene Curie and Lise Mietner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World

Written by: Winifred Conkling
Recommended Age: 10 and up

In 1934, Irene Curie, the daughter of the famous Marie Curie, developed artificial radioactivity with her husband, a discovery that won the couple the Nobel Prize — but Curie was not permitted entry into the French Academy of Sciences, who thereafter banned all women. Four years later, Lise Meitner used Curie's research to help her understand nuclear fission, a discovery that was critical to the nuclear age, but she was left unrecognized by the Nobel Committee, while her colleague Otto Hahn was given full credit for their joint research. In this narrative non-fiction book, Winifred Conkling highlights the struggles these groundbreaking women faced in the male-dominated world of research, and includes sidebars that elaborate on the science of the book and shed new light on these remarkable figures from scientific history. Younger readers interested in learning more about Meitner should check out Lise Meitner Had the Right Vision About Nuclear Fission for age 7 to 10.

Emi and the Rhino Scientist

Emi and the Rhino Scientist

Written by: Mary Kay Carson
Recommended Age: 9 and up

Emi is a Sumatran rhino, the world's smallest rhino and one of the most endangered mammals on the planet. At her home in the Cincinnati Zoo, she's well fed and kept healthy — but if the species as a whole is going to survive, every female rhino needs to have as many calves as possible. Thanks to Terri Roth, Emi became the first Sumatran rhino to give birth in captivity in over a century. In this fascinating book from the Scientists in the Field series, readers learn how Roth's work with rhino hormones might help save these curious and friendly rhinos. Fans of this book will also want to check out The Tapir Scientist from the same series, which follows Patricia Medici's work to study the mysterious lowland tapirs of Brazil.

Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists

Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists

Written by: Jeannine Atkins
Illustrated by: Paula Conner
Recommended Age: 10 and up

For these six women, curiosity about the natural world and a passion for science drove them to overcome obstacles and prejudices in previously male-only occupations! Jeannine Atkins discusses the childhoods and careers of six very different women — Maria Merian (b.1647), Anna Comstock (b.1854), Frances Hamerstrom (b.1907), Rachel Carson (b.1907), Miriam Rothschild (b.1908), and Jane Goodall (b.1934) — all of whom became renowned scientists, artists and writers. An excellent resource for students and a fascinating read for young science lovers, this book reminds readers that amazing discoveries can be found in surprising places.

Maria Mitchell: The Soul of an Astronomer

Maria Mitchell: The Soul of an Astronomer

Written by: Beatrice Gormley
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

In the mid-1800s, a young woman with a passion for the stars became America's first female professional astronomer: Maria Mitchell. Despite many obstacles to her education and practice, Mitchell would become famous for discovering a comet by telescope in 1847, for which she became the first woman and American to receive one of King Frederick VI of Denmark's gold medals. Rather than writing a simple chronological biography, author Beatrice Gormley opts to set the stage by talking about 19th century Nantucket, Mitchell's home, and her life and career as an adult, so that tween and teen readers can more easily understand just how unusual Mitchell's life really was. Complete with multiple pages of photographs, this is a unique biography of a unique woman.

Women In Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures

Women In Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures

Written by: Karen Bush Gibson
Recommended Age: 12 and up

There are few figures as inspiring as an astronaut: not only are they daring adventurers, they're also intelligent, dedicated scientists! In this book from the Women of Action series, kids will read about trailblazing women from ten different countries who dreamed of traveling to space. Including important figures like the Mercury 13, Valentina Tereshkova, Sally Ride, Mae Jemison, Chiaki Mukai, Kalpana Chawla, and many more, this book shares the obstacles they faced, the wonders they saw, and the influence they've made on the world. For any science-lover or would-be space traveler, this book is full of inspiration.

Bold Women of Medicine: 21 Stories of Astounding Discoveries, Daring Surgeries, and Healing Breakthroughs

Bold Women of Medicine: 21 Stories of Astounding Discoveries, Daring Surgeries, and Healing Breakthroughs

Written by: Susan M. Latta
Recommended Age: 12 and up

From battlefield nurses Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale in the 19th century, to modern medical miracle workers like Dr. Catherine Hamlin and Bonnie Simpson Mason, women have long played a key role in medicine — but their contributions have often been downplayed or forgotten. In this fascinating new title from the Women of Action series, young adult readers get to meet some of the daring and trailblazing women of the past two hundred years of medicine. From adventurers like Mary Carson Breckinridge, the "nurse on horseback" who delivered babies in the Appalachian Mountains, to research physicians like Virginia Apgar, who created the Apgar score that has saved millions of new born babies, these women defied prejudices and expectations, created incredible new procedures, and devoted their lives to healing people around the world.

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

Written by: Jim Ottaviani
Illustrated by: Maris Wicks
Recommended Age: 13 and up

When these three women scientists started working for Louis Leakey studying primates in the wild, they were groundbreaking in many ways: not only were women in science still oddities, but their methods and ways of thinking led them to remarkable new discoveries. In this triple biography of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas — sometimes known as the Trimates — Jim Ottoviani tells their stories in compelling fashion, emphasizing their accomplishments but also presenting them as real people with flaws and quirks of their own. Inviting illustrations by Maris Wicks capture the excitement and drama of their discoveries and their lives.  Accessible, entertaining, and informative, teens will devour this graphic biography.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science — And The World

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science — And The World

Written by: Rachel Swaby
Recommended Age: 13 and up

For every famous name like Marie Curie and Jane Goodall, there are dozens or hundreds of women whose work in science is little known — and even when it is, their contributions are often minimized or forgotten. Rachel Swaby was inspired to write this book after reading an obituary of rocket scientist Yvonne Brill that spent the first paragraph focusing on her beef stroganoff recipe and her family life. Within it, she provide capsule biographies of 52 women scientists whose stories need to be told. Broken down into categories like medicine, physics, biology, math and technology, and invention, this book shows the innumerable ways in which women have advanced our scientific understanding. Fascinating for both teens and adults, it's sure to get your Mighty Girl thinking about what she might grow up to discover!

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