Dear Book Lovers,
I hope that you enjoy nonfiction, because recently I read Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World. The book is written by Rachel Ignotofsky and is full of the inspiring stories of 50 women scientists, who each faced their own struggles to continue the path of curiosity. Each story teaches the reader about one scientist who made an impact on our world. This 117 page beautifully illustrated nonfiction book is perfect if you want your brain to be stimulated by motivation!
Rachel Ignotofsky is an author and illustrator who wants to “use her work to spread her message about scientific literacy and feminism.” She has a passion for making learning fun through art and turning compact knowledge into a fun and easy learning style. She has written three books so far, Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, I Love Science: A Journal for Self-Discovery and Big Ideas, and Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes who Played to Win. She has an enthusiasm and passion for history and science, and spends each day learning, drawing, and writing! This is a link to her awesome website containing her books and illustrations:
I chose to read this book because at the School Book Fair, I saw it and immediately fell in love with not the illustrations, but the fact that it is science! It is now proudly stacked on top of my Microsculpture: Portraits of Insects book by Levon Biss. I recommend this to any nature lovers out there (if you love beetles, this book is for you).
In Women in Science, the author wants to show the world how amazing women and their achievements are, and how if you persevere, you can accomplish anything. Inside the book’s pages are 50 stories of brave women who made big changes in the world. While reading, there is no doubt of inspiration in the text. The illustrations bring the stories to life, and these scientists prove that no obstacle can stop you from the path of exploration and the quest for knowledge.
I was surprised when the author included more than just scientists. She added in two whole beautifully drawn pages of lab tools, a timeline from 400 AD to Now, a glossary of 48 terms, an index, and statistics in STEM: gender gap percents and the percentage of women in STEM from 1970-2011. Lastly, she wrote 14 small summaries of other important women scientists, and:
“THE NEXT GREAT SCIENTIST COULD BE YOU! Women everywhere are working hard, learning, and researching to make the next big breakthrough.”
I liked how Rachel Ignotofsky formatted her book. Her drawings are all exciting and full of detail. Most importantly, they make reading fun! The art makes the whole book beautiful, and to me, it brings emotion to the pages. The author proves that some things need art. Without it, this book would be absolutely boring. Which would be horrible and sad. 🙁 I really love the format of Women in Science, Rachel Ignotofsky did a fabulous job.
One passage that interested me was on page 37, about Lillian Gilbreth. Lillian Gilbreth was a psychologist and industrial engineer. I found it fascinating that she had invented the foot pedal on garbage cans and shelves in the fridge (originally a small icebox).
“When Frank died in 1924, Lillian took sole charge of their company. Many of their clients did not want a woman telling them how to run their factories. Since they thought that women belonged in the kitchen, that is what Lillian decided to focus on: homemakers. Back then, it was common for women to spend all day long cooking and cleaning. It was backbreaking and exhausting labor. Lillian wanted to apply ergonomics and motion studies to help make housewives’ domestic jobs easier. She created new tools and a new layout for kitchens that cut work time down from an entire day to only a few hours. This gave women all over the country more time to pursue more stimulating interests.”
I thought that this passage was interesting, because to us, our kitchen is normal. But if you imagine living without certain basic materials that we all love (like shelves in the fridge), this topic becomes an engrossing thought. How could we survive without shelves in the fridge?! After looking her up, I found that she also invented the butter tray. How have people been able to use butter without a butter tray? This leads to so many questions…
I rate this book a 9 out of 10 because I love it so much. It has so much inspiration! I always feel so amazed while reading it and learning about the differences that these scientists made, and I absolutely love the illustrations! I recommend that you should read this book if you love the following: science, inventions, discoveries, inspiration, illustrations, learning. Also, another cool scientist that I love is Mary Agnes Chase. She was a botanist and suffragist who traveled the world, collected over 10,000 different kinds of species of grass, and wrote the book A First Book of Grasses: The Structure of Grasses Explained for Beginners. I think this is extremely cool.
Happy reading to you all,
Elizabeth A. 🙂