Women’s History Month Notable Women Series: Review of “Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History” by Sam Maggs

In Wonder Women, readers (presumably in the tween-teenage age range) are introduced to twenty-five female scientists, engineers, adventurers, and inventors in chapters divided into five parts: Women of Science, Women of Medicine, Women of Espionage, Women of Innovation and Women of Adventure.

index

This book has some great information in it, but I was kind of turned off by the “hipster” tone of it. The author kept referring to “dudes” instead of males or men, and “butt-kicking chicks” or “bad-as-heck babes.” Then there was the “Valley Speak,” as in “Zhenyi . .. would totally be hosting Cosmos were she alive today,” (although, admittedly, I doubt any Valley Speaker would be familiar with the subjunctive mood), and interjections like “What even?”

I did like the choice of women to highlight, and I thought the author did a good job at winnowing down the biographical information to present the most interesting or relevant pieces of these women’s lives. Maybe the tone is geared toward winning over “reluctant readers,” but I would like to think that we can expect kids to learn to communicate by using all the breadth and beauty of the English language instead of what sounds “cool.”

The book also includes illustrations by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, a bibliography, and interviews with present-day woman working in STEM fields.

Mary Sherman Morgan 1921-2004 American Rocket Scientist

Mary Sherman Morgan 1921-2004 American Rocket Scientist

Evaluation: While this book is not without some merit, I think there are better choices for kids to learn about women in science, such as Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.

Published by Quirk Books, 2016

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