Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review - Wonder Women by Sam Maggs

 Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
Series: Standalone
Genre: Non-fiction
Age Group: MG+ (Adults too!)
Source: ARC from Quirk Books
Expected Publication: October 4th! 
ARC - 225 pgs
Rating - 5/5

Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

I received an ARC copy of this book from Quirk Books in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.

What we have here is a short, smart, well-researched introduction to the ladies who have started to break down barriers for women in the STEM fields! Sam Maggs introduced me to women in many different STEM fields throughout history including inventors, scientists, doctors and many more. Maggs selected a group of women diverse in nationality, race, class, and sexuality. Their accomplishments are highlighted and stories told in a simple but effective fashion.The format and illustrations are lovely and easy to follow. At the end of each chapter a modern woman working in STEM is featured in an interview which I enjoyed immensely. Overall this book must have needed an immense amount of research and Maggs did an excellent job.

I do think some people will be put off by the interjections from the author. At times I did find them mildly disruptive to my reading, but overall I think they add a lighthearted commentary to the book. That lightheartedness I found helpful since some of these women met tragic ends or passed away without recognition in their lifetime. I didn't expect to be emotional during this book. I expected stories of exceptional women. I got both. This book filled me with strength and hope for the future, but also brought tears to my eyes and sometimes anger into my heart. Maggs strikes a fabulous balance between humor and seriousness though to relieve that tension and replace it with amusement. 

As someone who went to college and earned a BA in History, it was disheartening for me to realize I knew next to none of these women and their stories had been excluded from my (and everyone else's) education. Though, like I mentioned this book made me feel hopeful rather than discouraged. This would be great for young people to help them see what possibilities are open to them. The ladies featured are absolutely incredible. The things they accomplished are astounding and the odds they overcame awe me. 

If you are looking for a hero, I have over 25 examples in this collection for you to choose from. 

Sound interesting? Then I have some amazing news for you! 

First of all Quirk is running a fabulous Preorder campaign for this book. If you submit your proof of purchase on Quirk's website, you will receive an exclusive link to download wallpapers for your laptop or phone by artists Jen Bartell and Paulina Ganucheau.You will also be entered to win the Grand Prize! Two winners will received a signed print of the artwork. From what I can see so far, they are beautiful.

Head over to Quirk Books for more details and to submit your receipt if you've already preordered!

Want to check out what I thought of this book while I was reading it? Check out my Litsy profile. My username is KeepCalmWithBooksandCoffee

Happy Reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment