A fine choice for inspiring future scientists.

WONDER WOMEN OF SCIENCE

HOW 12 GENIUSES ARE ROCKING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE WORLD

Brief, inspiring biographies of 12 female scientists are accompanied by interesting information on an array of scientific topics.

Aerospace engineer Fletcher and novelist Rue combine forces to craft an engaging series of biographies of current female scientists working in a variety of fields. Each biography begins with a “Fact File” that includes birthplace, education, current position, and honors the subject has received. Comport’s full-page portraits are complemented by snapshots of the subjects in childhood. The narrative includes information about each woman’s field, what sparked her career choice, a note of advice to her childhood self, suggestions to guide STEM-focused readers, and finally, “Words To Live By”—a few last pithy bits of advice. The women run the gamut, including a forestry engineer, a computer science engineer, and a paleoclimatologist. Each chapter is followed by a couple of pages of additional science background related to the woman’s work. A slightly flippant, breezy, and amusing writing style makes this an easy and engaging read. Each biography includes plenty of information about the scientist’s childhood experiences, making it that much more pertinent for young readers; women of color are well represented. Altogether, it offers an invaluable and highly plausible road map from youthful ambition to future success. Outstanding backmatter rounds out this excellent presentation.

A fine choice for inspiring future scientists. (glossary, tips on success in STEM, further reading, index) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0734-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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