The best new children's books about girls and women in science!
Girls and women are curious, intelligent, persistent, and bold: it's no wonder they can be such good scientists! While women in STEM have fought prejudice for years — much of which still lingers today — they've also made important discoveries, invented world-changing things, and helped humanity make great leaps in our understanding of our planet, the universe, and more.
One way to support women in science is to share their stories with kids during Women's History Month and all year round! When young readers see women scientists in their books, it changes their image of who can be a scientist — and that not only encourages girls with an interest in STEM, but also counters the male-dominated stereotype of science for girls and boys alike. To help make it easier to find exciting new titles to share with kids, this blog post features a round-up of the best books about girls and women in science published over the last two years.
From picture book biographies of little-known pioneers to graphic novels about trailblazing women, and even a book or two to get your Mighty Girl experimenting at home, these titles will ensure that she knows that science is definitely for girls.
New Books About Girls and Women in Science
Rachel Ignotofsky's best-selling Women in Science gets a board book adaptation for the littlest readers! Combining Ignotofsky's gorgeous, colorful illustrations with simple text, this book is packed with diverse role models from every field of science. Each entry gives the woman's name, a few fun facts, and a one-sentence summary of one of her most important contributions, from how Wang Zhenyi figured out how eclipses work to how Mae Jemison became the first African American woman in space. It's the perfect title for curious kids who can't wait to learn more about the trailblazing women who made their mark on history!
When Jane Goodall arrived in Gombe, nobody had ever studied chimpanzees in the wild up close. In order to learn about them, she had to earn their trust — and when she did, she discovered amazing things, from the way they interacted in their group to their creation and use of tools. Her discoveries would change the way people looked at chimpanzees — and humans. This book from the I Can Read series, which is geared for newly independent readers who need simple text and sentences, includes a timeline and historical photos that are sure to inspire primate-loving kids!
In 1905, prairie girl Ruth finds something unexpected on her family's South Dakota land: strange rocks and rubble. They look almost like bones — but bones of what? And why are they so much like stone? Ruth is full of questions, but nobody else seems interested in them, even the scientists she contacts when she's an adult. It's not until 1979 that two paleontologists come to see Ruth's discovery and discover the remains of thousands of dinosaurs! This thrilling picture book celebrates a curious girl who grew up into a woman determined to be heard, and how her persistence ensured scientists could study one of the greatest paleontological discoveries of the 20th century.
In 1876, a wife and mother like Ellen Harding Baker was expected to focus on the home: to cook and clean, to knit and sew. But the Iowa woman had boundless curiosity, particularly about space. She may not have been able to defy the conventions of her day to study the stars, but she could learn everything she could on her own and stitch it into a quilt. Today, Baker's solar system quilt hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, a tribute to a woman whose thirst for knowledge never faded. In this gorgeous picture book from the She Made History series, Baker's story is told through the eyes of her daughters, imagining how her determination to learn may have influence her family for generations.
7-year-old Sophia had adored bugs ever since she was 2 1/2 — but when she got to school, not everyone appreciated her love of insects, especially in a girl. And when she brought a beautiful grasshopper — her favorite bug — to school, some of the kids even knocked it off her shoulder and killed it. Heartbroken, Sophia stopped talking about bugs... until her mom wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist pen pal. The society created the hashtag #BugsR4Girls, and before long, hundreds of scientists were talking to Sophia, encouraging her to keep up her love of entomology. This charming picture book, written by the real-life Sophia, celebrates curiosity, scientific passion, being true to yourself — and of course, bugs!
Mary Anning grew up combing the cliffs near her home for fossils that her impoverished family could sell. She had a knack for finding the best fossils — including the first complete skeleton of an ichthyosaur! Anning kept discovering more and more fossils, but because she was a woman, she wasn't allowed to study with men, or be admitted into their scientific societies. Still, she kept making major discoveries, and today she's considered the mother of paleontology. Young dinosaur-lovers will be delighted with this book from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, which encourages them to imagine how their own talents and passions could change the world.
When Tu Youyou was a child growing up in China, her family would treat her sicknesses with traditional remedies. She was fascinated by science, so she decided she wanted to study medicine. By the time she was an adult, more and more people around the world were being infected with a strain of malaria that was resistant to the medicines people usually used. She decided to find a new treatment — and she wondered if a traditional remedy might be the key. With the help of her team, Tu Youyou started poring through home remedies for symptoms of malaria and one of them, artemisinin derived from sweet wormwood, would be the cure she had been searching for. This picture book from the She Made History series is an inspiring introduction to the Nobel Prize-winning malariologist whose work has saved millions of lives.
Florence Nightingale grew up in a wealthy family, and she could have spent her days with a wealthy husband and a life of luxury. Instead, she felt called to help care for the injured, sick, and poor, so she trained to be a nurse. At the time, most people thought nurses weren't important; all they did was provide a little care and comfort. Florence, though, knew nurses could do much more. When war broke out, she traveled to help nurse injured soldiers, and she used her knowledge of science to show that the dirty hospitals and poor food were more dangerous than the injuries! Although she became famous to the world as the Lady with the Lamp, her greatest legacy is her role as the mother of modern nursing. This compelling book from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series will inspire young readers to imagine how they too could change the world.
Rosalind Franklin was a scientist when few women were, and she perfected techniques in X-ray crystallography that allowed her to take pictures of molecules more detailed than anyone had managed before! At King's College London, she and Maurice Wilkins decided to work on finding the structure of DNA — but after a disagreement, he showed her "photo 51" to another researcher, Francis Crick. Crick and his colleague James Watson would later be credited with "discovering" DNA's double helix; Franklin's contribution wasn't recognized until after her death. Today, though, she's recognized for her critical role in one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century. This book from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series is a must-have introduction to a scientist who's finally getting her due.
Mary Golda Ross was the only girl in her college math class, and she proved that she could excel. She taught math at several high schools while taking graduate courses in the summers but she dreamed of finding more opportunities to apply her mathematical talents. In 1942, she succeeded, winning a spot at Lockheed as an aerospace engineer. She thrived, and before long, she had been invited to a super secret team called Skunk Works — one which was working on cutting-edge designs for future space travel! This compelling picture book biography captures the fascinating life of this little-known pioneer in STEM who became the first Native American aerospace engineer, celebrating how she blazed a trail for others behind her.
June Almeida loved science, even as a young girl growing up in Glasgow, Scotland. But even though she was a top student, her family struggled financially and she had to leave school at the age of 16. She was determined, though, to find a way to pursue a scientific career and she was hired by a local hospital to work in its lab. There, she proved that she had an incredible talent for using a microscope to examine cells, making discoveries that helped doctors treat patients. And after years of working with electron microscopes and identifying viruses, she made a very special discovery — the first human coronavirus! This fascinating picture book, which includes a timeline and photos of June and her historic virus photographs in the back matter, celebrates a pioneering virologist whose groundbreaking work continues to help researchers today in the fight against illnesses caused by viruses, including COVID-19.
Mary Sherman Morgan grew up in a poor farming family in the 1920s — but when she went to school, the world opened up to her. She discovered that she loved science, and particularly excelled at chemistry. Although it was hard for a woman to make a career as a scientist, labor shortages during World War II gave her the opportunity of a lifetime in a lab designing rocket fuels. And then, Mary was chosen for a top secret and ultra-important project: creating the fuel that could launch America's first satellite into orbit. This lively picture book biography captures the obstacles that Mary faced — including the struggle to design a fuel that was safe but energetic enough for a launch to space — while celebrating her unflappable curiosity and determination.
As a child, Beatrice Shilling would rather take apart machines than play with the other girls — so when she grew up, she decided to study engineering, even if she would be the only woman there. She proved her mettle more than once, but plenty of people were still skeptical about a woman engineer. When World War II broke out, though, Britain's planes needed help — and that meant new ideas. Shilling figured out a solution to a tough problem with their fuel release systems, allowing pilots to maneuver safely... and helping them win the war! This inspiring picture book biography of a engineering pioneer (who also raced motorcycles on the side!) will inspire kids to celebrate the value of individuality and persistence.
As a child in the 1940s, Patricia Bath became fascinated by caring for vision when she saw a beggar with cloudy eyes. Most people then thought a girl — particularly an African American girl — couldn't be a doctor, but she proved them wrong and became an ophthalmologist. Through her pioneering work in laser eye surgery, her work as cofounder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, and her innovative concept of community preventative eye care, Dr. Bath would save the sight of people around the world. This inspiring book from the People Who Shaped Our World series is a fitting tribute to this compassionate woman.
In 1818, Jeanne Power was a former dressmaker who became a self-taught naturalist after moving from Paris to Sicily. She was fascinated by the life forms in the ocean — but while it was easy to study animals on land, how could she study the ones in the sea? Power built a glass box — an aquarium — that she could use to examine aquatic creatures, and she made groundbreaking discoveries doing so! And even when men tried to take credit for her work, she argued her case and made sure she got her due. This vibrant picture book biography celebrates a little known pioneer of science whose legacy lives on in every aquarium found in homes, research facilities, and zoos around the world.
Women through the centuries have often been discouraged from science — but the truth is that the more kinds of minds we have working on scientific problems, the more answers we find! In this STEM-themed book from the best-selling She Persisted series, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a variety of inspiring scientists, from chemists and physicists to architects and environmental activists. From famous figures like Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Temple Grandin, and Florence Nightingale, to lesser-known figures like Gladys West, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, and Flossie Wong-Staal, and even to a new wave of teen activists like Greta Thunberg and Wanjiru Wathuti, all of these girls and women prove that everyone has the potential to make a discovery that could change the world.
Meg Lowman was a shy child who rarely spoke in school — but she adored the natural world, and particularly the trees and the many organisms that lived in their branches and leaves. So she decided she wanted to become a scientist and study the canopies in the rain forest. There were many obstacles in her way, from the inaccessibility of the treetops to the sexism she faced in the scientific community to the logging and clearing that threatened this precious ecosystem. But Lowman persevered, and "Canopy Meg" not only created her own future, but helped ensure the rainforests had a future too. With vibrant illustrations (that conceal fascinating facts about rainforests in their leafy designs) and text drafted with the help of Lowman herself, this picture book is a detailed and exciting portrait of a pioneering scientist and the incredible world she loves.
Growing up in Iran, Maryam Mirzakhani loved reading — math was so boring compared to the exciting characters and stories on the pages of a book! But then she discovered geometry, where the numbers became shapes, and "every number held a story." Soon, the math prodigy was studying mathematics at Harvard, then teaching others to love math as a professor. And her innovative research solving some of math's trickiest puzzles won her the Fields Medal, mathematics' highest award — the first time that a woman had won. This gorgeous picture book, imbued with Mirzakhani's love of math and passion for storytelling, is a vibrant celebration of a pioneering woman in STEM.
Florence Merriam Bailey loved birds: she adored spending time outside, watching and listening to her feathered friends. But when she grew up, she learned that most ornithologists of her day studied birds that had been stuffed and mounted, and never set foot outside their labs except to trap even more birds. Bailey proposed the modern system of birdwatching, even writing one of the first field guides to American birds, Birds Through An Opera-Glass. She was also an advocate for conservation, encouraging women to refuse to wear feathers in their fashion and fighting for laws that protected wild spaces. Author Andrea D'Aquino's elegant text and gorgeous collage illustrations tell the story of this pioneering scientist and how her innovative perspective changed the world.
Marie Tharp loved science, but in the mid-20th century when she joined the lab at Cambridge University in New York, she wasn't allowed to go on research boats: everyone knew that women at sea were bad luck. Instead, Tharp dove into the information that her colleagues brought back and started drawing a map of the ocean floor. Slowly, her map grew, revealing something even bigger than the Atlantic: a ridge, right down the middle of the ocean! That ridge not only changed what people thought about the ocean floor, but it also proved the new theory of plate tectonics, changing our understanding of how the planet changes over time. This exuberant picture book biography by the author of Shark Lady is a tribute to perseverance and the power of thinking differently!
Born to a wealthy family in 1800s England, Marianne North loved painting and botany. Her mother told her she was wasting her time; she should be looking for an appropriate husband. Although she refused to give up on her dream, she spent many years caring for her ailing father — but when he died, she suddenly found herself with the freedom and the funds to do as she pleased. Not only did North travel the world, drawing and painting what she saw — and pioneering the technique of painting specimens in their natural environment — but she created so many works of art that she created the Marianne North Gallery at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, a gallery that is still open today. This lush picture book celebrates an independent-minded woman whose love of science and art changed the way people saw the natural world.
In 1916, Albert Einstein theorized that there were collisions in space, far out in the universe, which might make sound waves that we could use to understand the beginning of the universe — and the far reaches of it. But there was no way for him to prove it. Decades later, a scientist named Gabriela González, who had immigrated to America from Argentina, decided to take up Einstein's question. With brand new technology and a crack team of physicists, González finally found it: a sound wave, rippling through space-time. 100 years after Einstein had first proposed the idea, it was González who proved he was right. Written by molecular biologist Patricia Valdez, and with exuberant illustrations from award-winning illustrator Sara Palacios, this picture book about two pioneering scientists will fill kids with a sense of wonder about the universe.
Beatrix Potter loved the living world — and she wanted to know all about it. She made observations and recorded what she saw in both words and pictures, even studying the bones of pets when they died. But people didn't think a woman could be a scientist in her time; she had to teach herself, and even when she made discoveries and wrote scientific papers, they were turned away. However, she eventually turned her talents to writing children's books starring the wild animals she loved, including a little bunny named Peter Rabbit. This book doesn't shy away from the challenges facing a woman scientist in Potter's day, but celebrates how combined her talents and her passions, both to make new discoveries and to write some of the world's most beloved children's books. For another book about Potter, which focuses on her conservation work, we recommend Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit for ages 5 to 9.
When Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a girl, she wanted to understand all about how the world worked — even though many people thought girls shouldn't be scientists. As a Ph.D. student, she built a radio telescope for her supervisor to study distant stars... and noticed something strange. One signal repeated in the sky, at perfect intervals. She had discovered the first pulsar! And while she was left off of the Nobel Prize awarded for her discovery — still one of the most hotly debated Nobel decisions — Burnell just kept studying, making more discoveries and inspiring a generation of women in science. This picture book biography of the pioneering astrophysicist, with artwork that includes luminous depictions of a mysterious and wonderful night sky, will leave kids eager to make their own discoveries about our universe.
Joanne Simpson was an adventurous young woman who wasn't going to let anyone tell her what to do. She learned to sail a boat and fly a plane, and she learned how to judge the weather while doing both. In the middle of World War II, a professor at the University of Chicago asked her to teach Air Force officers about weather — and she discovered she enjoyed it. She decided to become a meteorologist herself... but when the war was over, her professors told her to go home saying, "No woman ever got a doctorate in meteorology. And no woman ever will." Not only did Simpson get that doctorate — becoming the first woman to do so — but she also discovered so much during her research that she completely changed our understanding of weather! This exuberant picture book is a celebration of a scientific trailblazer who was determined to be the first woman in her field.
As a child in Scotland, Williamina Fleming loved light, from her photographer father's images to the stars in the night sky. As an adult, she moved to America, and hoped to become an astronomer, but she faced many obstacles: after her husband disappeared, she was left as a single mother, and as a woman, she wasn't allowed to use the Harvard Observatory telescope. But she persevered, becoming one of Harvard's "human computers" analyzing data... and created a map of the universe that became the foundation for modern astronomy! Newbery Honor-winning author Kathryn Lasky captures both the sexism that blocked Fleming's work, and the love of the stars that allowed her to persist in her work, celebrating the passion and determination of this trailblazer.
Virginia Apgar wanted to become a doctor when very few women did — and she wasn't going to let prejudice stand in her way. She was discouraged from studying surgery, so she started working in anesthesiology, where there was lots of research to be done to find the best ways to help patients. And while working with pregnant women and newborn babies, she created a quick, easy to remember test that assessed a newborn's health: the Apgar score. Her test is still used around the world — and it's saved millions of lives! This chapter book biography inspired by Chelsea Clinton's bestselling She Persisted series, with black and white illustrations throughout, is a fascinating introduction to a pioneering woman in medicine and the story of how she rose up against the odd.
Emmy Noether was born in 1882, at a time when a good German girl was supposed to focus on home and marriage — but instead, the clever girl was determined to learn more about math! The gifted mathematician subsisted on a small inheritance as she got permission to audit math courses at a university, although she wasn't allowed to enroll, and did her own research into the most difficult math and physics question of her time. Even when she had to flee the rise of the Nazi party, she remained determined to succeed — and today, she is finally getting her due as one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century. Best-selling author Helaine Becker celebrates Noether's intelligence and drive in this book that's sure to inspire math-loving kids.
As a child, Temple Grandin was different from other children: she didn't speak, and she struggled with meltdowns and sensory overload. Her mother was told to put her in an institution, but she knew her daughter could achieve great things. Supportive family and mentors helped Grandin discover her love of animals and her talent for science and design, and she realized she could use her unique perspective to achieve great things! This chapter book inspired by Chelsea Clinton's best-selling She Persisted series is a powerful introduction to this animal welfare and autism awareness advocate — and to how different perspectives benefit all of us.
Vera Rubin started her career watching the stars as a child, from her bedroom window; when she grew up, she was the only female astronomy major at Vassar College, determined to make a career for herself. Although her painstaking calculations led to multiple discoveries, many male astronomers dismissed her work... but she kept going. And when she proved that there was mass that wasn't visible in the galaxies overhead — dark matter — she changed the way we understood the universe. With vivid illustrations of the night sky and real quotes from Rubin herself, this stunning picture book celebrates a woman in STEM who changed her field forever.
When Sally Ride joined NASA — after the agency spent years telling women they couldn't be astronauts — she wanted to be the first, not just for herself but for all the girls and women who came after her. When she became the first American woman in space, it was a dream come true! And when she left NASA, she continued to do so, creating programs that encouraged girls to see themselves as scientists and engineers and inspiring generations of women in STEM. This early chapter book inspired by the bestselling picture book She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World celebrates a trailblazing woman who let girls see everything that they could be.
Elizebeth Friedman had a knack for codes and ciphers — and she wanted to put it to use. She helped debunk the idea that Francis Bacon had written Shakespeare's plays. She cracked the code of gangsters and smugglers, allowing their shipments to be intercepted. And she even took down Nazi spy rings during the second World War, saving thousands of lives! Although she should have been famous — she even created the CIA's first cryptology unit — almost nobody knew about her work until her secret papers were declassified in 2015. In this fascinating, in-depth picture book biography, young readers can learn all about Friedman's life of code breaking — and even try deciphering secret messages of their own!
When journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas returned to Florida after World War I, she was shocked at the difference in her home: where once the Everglades were lush with life, now they were disappearing — and taking the plant and animal life along with them. But how could she protect this unique place from destruction by developers? She put her pen into action and became an activist for conservation in Florida, helping the Everglades become a national park — one created not for sightseeing, but for preservation. With vibrant artwork that captures the beauty of the Everglades, and back matter including environmental tips, this is a gorgeous tribute to Douglas' life and work.
When Susan was a child, she wrestled with the implications of her multiracial white and Native American heritage, and with the prejudice she saw every day: she once watched an elderly woman die because no white doctor would come to the reservation to help. So as an adult, she took the bold step of attending medical school — at a time when most medical schools wouldn't accept any women, let alone a Native American woman. When she graduated at the top of her class, she became America's first Native American doctor — and she returned to her native Nebraska to serve a reservation, caring for over 1,300 patients spread across 450 square miles. In this intriguing middle grade biography, kids will learn how Picotte battled epidemics like smallpox and tuberculosis, bad weather like blizzards, and much more to improve public health across her community.
You can dive into chemistry with ingredients from your own kitchen in this book from The Kitchen Pantry Scientist series! In Chemistry for Kids, you'll learn about 25 famous chemists past and present — half of them women — including figures like Marie Curie, Alessandra Volta, Tu Youyou, and more. Then, you'll conduct an experiment that explores similar concepts to their famous discoveries, from carbonating a beverage with baking soda and vinegar to extracting compounds from plants. All of the experiments can be done safely by kids, and either use simple materials you have on hand, or inexpensive items that you can easily purchase online. And for kids who are more interested in living things, check out the second volume, The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Biology for Kids.
Growing up, Mary Anning's family was desperately poor — so the nimble girl learned to help her father search the cliffs near her home on the south coast of England to find fossils to sell. Anning turned out to have a gift for fossil hunting; at the age of 13, she and her brother discovered the first complete ichthyosaur skeleton! Anning never had the opportunity for formal education, so she taught herself by reading scientific journals and performing dissections — and while her discoveries weren't given their due during her lifetime, today she's one of the most celebrated paleontologists ever. This exuberant biography, which includes high-quality illustrations — including reproductions of some of Anning's sketches — is a visually appealing and thoroughly researched introduction to a pioneer in STEM.
The great outdoors isn't just a place to play: it's also a place that can inspire boundless curiosity — and a passion for science! Dr. Temple Grandin, world-renowned scientist and author of Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like An Inventor, introduces young readers to a wide variety of scientific fields, from geology to astrophysics to oceanography and many more, all of which start with observations of the natural world. She also includes a selection of kid-appropriate activities that will get kids asking questions, drawing their own conclusions, and exploring all that the great outdoors has to offer! With its combination of chatty anecdotes and information about other real-life scientists, this book will inspire kids to learn more about our amazing world.
Marie Curie not only changed the way we saw chemistry and physics: she also changed the way we saw women's role in the sciences! This book, published for the 110th anniversary of Curie's receipt of the Nobel Prize for chemistry, is part biography, part hands-on science guide, which gets kids learning about Curie's life and work while also exploring concepts like energy and matter. Kids will use materials they can easily find at home to try engaging activities like building a 3D model of the periodic table, or calculating the "half life" of candies! It's an enthralling way to learn more about Curie — and to spark an interest in chemistry and physics.
Jeannine Atkins, author of Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science, returns with this companion book in verse about seven women who used math to change the world! With evocative poems, Atkins captures the stories of Caroline Herschel, Florence Nightingale, Hertha Marks Ayrton, Marie Tharp, Edna Lee Paisano, Katherine Johnson, and Vera Rubin. These women fought stereotypes and prejudices and proved they were up to the task! This compelling book celebrating women in math is sure to inspire a new generation of math-loving girls.
When Mae Jemison watched the Apollo moon landings, one of her questions was this: why weren't any of the astronauts women? After all, she loved science; couldn't she go to space too? Jemison would go on to become the first African American woman in space — and now her story can inspire the trailblazers of tomorrow! This book from the Work It, Girl series tells Jemison's life story, accented by brightly colored 3-D cut paper art, and provides ten tips from her own life for those who want to follow in her footsteps — and beyond.
American biologist Rachel Carson helped spark the modern environmental movement with her compelling writing about ecological damage — particularly her famous book Silent Spring. Now, budding ecologists can learn about Carson and her work in this biography from the For Kids series! Kids will read about Carson's life, then explore 21 hands-on activities, from collecting a seed bank to modeling bioaccumulation to building a worm farm. This inspiring book is sure to give kids new appreciation for the delicate balance of our planet's ecosystems.
What does it take to break boundaries around the world? These 25 female explorers and scientists will tell you! From a volcanologist climbing an active volcano to a mountaineer defying prejudice as she reaches the top of the Seven Summits to a paleontologist who uncovers fossils in the field, these women know what it takes to dream big — and dare to follow up. Packed with breathtaking photography, first-person interviews, and general interest information about the places and subjects these pioneers are studying, this book is sure to inspire a new generation of girls to go further, higher, and deeper in the quest for knowledge and success.
Mary Mallon was a hardworking cook who worked for several of New York's wealthiest families — but wherever she went, people came down with typhoid, a serious illness. An epidemiologist was the first to realize that Mallon was a carrier, who didn't show symptoms herself but could pass on the deadly bacteria. But Mallon didn't understand how she could be making people sick if she wasn't sick herself, and she refused to stop working. It took multiple investigations by public health — including the help of pioneering doctor Sara Josephine Baker — and enforced quarantine to stop Mallon from spreading typhoid even further. This detailed and absorbing account of "Typhoid Mary," which includes a new chapter about the COVID-19 pandemic, is perfect for young readers curious about epidemiology and public health.
Lisa Meitner dreamed of becoming a scientist at the turn of the 20th century, when girls were supposed to dream of marriage and housekeeping. She fought to earn a PhD in physics, and even became the first woman physics professor at the University of Berlin, but was frustrated when people compared her to Marie Curie — "no one expects every man to be like Pierre Curie." Then, as the Nazi regime rose, she faced discrimination because of her Jewish heritage, and she finally had to flee. Her research led to the discovery of nuclear fission, but only her male research partner received the Nobel Prize... and she was forever haunted by the atom bomb that her work helped create. This stunning biography in verse by the author of Finding Wonders and Grasping Mysteries is a gorgeous portrait of this pioneering physicist.
For decades during the early space race, NASA knew the "right" sort of person to be an astronaut — and they were all men. Talented women were denied the chance to try, even when they proved they were just as qualified. Then Valentina Tereshkova of the USSR became the first woman in space, and suddenly, NASA wanted to catch up. Group 9, NASA's first mixed gender class, still had to fight stereotypes, but they proved that women also deserved to fly. The author / illustrator pair behind Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas tells this captivating story in the voice of former astronaut Mary Cleave, creating an inspiring graphic novel that reminds readers that progress is fastest when we include everyone.
When Jennifer Doudna was in 6th grade, she read The Double Helix, James Watson's story of discovering the structure of DNA — and she was hooked. She became determined not just to learn more about DNA, but to learn enough about biochemistry to understand RNA, the related molecule that lets genes express themselves. Her expertise in RNA led to her work helping develop CRISPR, a revolutionary technique to edit genes — one that is already being used to target genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anemia. And today, her team is part of the global effort to fight the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This young reader's edition of The Code Breaker introduces this pioneering scientist and her Nobel Prize-winning work to young readers, who will be inspired to imagine how they too could change the world.
In this midst of the Space Race of the 1960s, America was on the hunt for people with the Right Stuff... or rather, for men. The top test pilots of NASA's Mercury 7 astronaut class passed grueling tests to prove their suitability for space, but at the same time, a secret group of thirteen women were taking the same tests. Their hope was to prove that women pilots were just as capable of contributing to America's space program. And then, when they took their fight for consideration all the way to Washington, they were ridiculed by politicians, the public, male pilots... and even one of their own. This stunning look at the story of the Mercury 13 captures the determination of these heroic women to fight the institutionalized sexism of their day.
Lise Meitner was female and Jewish in early 20th century Berlin, so despite her brilliance as a physicist she had to fight for everything, even for having her name listed on her own research papers. When Hitler came to power, she even had to flee the country to save her own life. All the while, she was working with a research partner on a mysterious phenomenon: when he had bombarded a uranium nucleus with a single electron, the result was an atom with a smaller nucleus. Meitner's equations proved it was nuclear fission — and that the process would generate tremendous energy. But not only was she denied credit when her lab partner received the Nobel Prize, but she was also horrified that her discovery would associate her with the atomic bomb. Bestselling author-illustrator Marissa Moss provides rich factual detail and gorgeous drawings in this fascinating story of "a physicist who never lost her humanity."
When Elizebeth Smith Friedman was hired by an eccentric millionaire to look for secret messages in Shakespeare's plays, she had no idea she'd become one of America's top cryptanalysts! Her knack for spotter patterns and solving puzzles led her to code-breaking, and she and her husband, William, became stars of the intelligence community, cracking enemy messages in World War I and World War II and helping the Coast Guard track smugglers through their communications — all at a time when most women were expected to keep house. Award-winning historian and novelist Amy Butler Greenfield introduces teen readers to this inspiring pioneer of STEM, whose contributions to American military intelligence have only recently been declassified.