New Books about Amazing Women


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I always love learning about amazing women. Today I get to share two new books with you that share all about some very amazing women. One is a picture book for the younger kids and the other is a chapter book for older kids. We will start with the picture book. It is The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell by Laura Alary and illustrated by Ellen Rooney. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

From the Publisher:

Perfect for fans of STEM, this inspiring picture book biography tells the extraordinary story of pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell.

Maria longed to travel beyond her small island of Nantucket. But she wasn't sure how. Her father taught her to look to the stars for guidance. If you knew how to read them, he said, the stars could tell you where you were, and where you needed to go. They spent hours scanning the night sky together through a telescope on the roof. Maria learned how to use astronomers' tools to measure and track time by the stars. But what could she do with her skills? Then, one day, she heard that a prize was being offered to the first person to find a new comet. Could this be the opportunity she was waiting for?

This absorbing picture book biography by Laura Alary tells the fascinating, though not well-known, story of a remarkable nineteenth-century woman scientist and women's rights advocate. After winning that prize for discovering a comet, Maria Mitchell would go on to become the first professional female astronomer in the United States, first female member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and one of the first female college professors. Beautifully illustrated with lovely textured artwork by Ellen Rooney, this is a well-told story with a teachable STEM component, supporting both science and social studies curriculums, that supports a growth mindset. It's also a wonderful guide sure to inspire readers to find their own way in the world. It includes backmatter that further describes Maria's impressive life and achievements.

From Me:

This book tells the story of Maria Mitchell. Maria was a woman who did amazing things especially considering women did not usually pursue science or even have an education in it during her lifetime. The book shares how supportive her family and in particular her father. I hadn't known she was from Nantucket. I love that she had so many supporters and opportunities at a time when women didn't usually have them. Maria Mitchell is truly a woman to learn about to help our girls enjoy STEM. I love how the book shares that she taught her female students to question everything and worked for women's rights. This book does a wonderful job of telling her story from her successes as well as some of her difficulties. This is a book I hope will be added to every lower elementary classroom and library. I hope more kids will learn the story about Maria Mitchell. This book does with a well written story that kids will easily follow, and the illustrations are fun and take us back to the time period. 

To go with this book, I would do some fun astronomy projects. The ones we did here would be great. 

Our second book is a book full of stories of female entrepreneurs. It is Idea Makers: 15 Fearless Female Entrepreneurs by Lowey Bundy Sichol. It is recommended for ages 12 and up.

From the Publisher:

Entrepreneurship can change your life—and even the world Idea Makers shares the incredible stories of 15 women who changed the world through their entrepreneurship. Author Lowey Bundy Sichol presents five industries that women are leading in recent years: food, fashion and clothing, health and beauty, science and technology, and education. Jenn Hyman brought couture fashion to everyday women with her idea to Rent the Runway. Morgan DeBaun supports Black journalists through Blavity. And Sandra Oh Lin is inspiring kids everywhere with KiwiCo activity boxes. Readers learn about how the women featured risked their early careers, gave up their salaries, and sometimes even went against the approval of their families to follow their passions and start their own businesses. Today, these 15 women are worth billions of dollars, are modern leaders, and have employed tens of thousands of individuals. Young women today are embracing innovation and idea making, and the women profiled in Idea Makers will show them how that can change the world.

From Me:

This book features the stories of fifteen female entrepreneurs, but there are even more stories in it. Throughout the stories there are little asides about inventions and such. The story of Ruth Wakefield creating the first chocolate chip cookies and Sarah Breedlove (aka Madame C. J. Walker) beginning her beauty care product company are examples of the asides. Some of the asides I have heard of and some I had not. 

Each woman's story is told starting with her childhood. Lowey shares how their lives led to the business success they have. Each woman uses her own knowledge and passion to create a business and bring something to others. Throughout the stories are also words of advice from the entrepreneurs. 

I love how the entrepreneurs are from all sorts of different industries and different races. I love how there is some personal information shared that helps the kids relate to the women. The book is well written and the stories for each woman are well developed and explained. Middle school and high school kids will learn much from this book both about these amazing women and about starting businesses.