Title: Finding Wonders – Three Girls who Changed Science
Author: Jeannine Atkins
My Rating: 4 stars
This book was such a delight and a surprise! I loved reading the stories of these three female scientists and how their lives were changed. If you’re interesting in inspiring books and world-changing women, check this out!
A novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.
Maria Merian was sure that caterpillars were not wicked things born from mud, as most people of her time believed. Through careful observation she discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented her findings in gorgeous paintings of the life cycles of insects.
More than a century later, Mary Anning helped her father collect stone sea creatures from the cliffs in southwest England. To him they were merely a source of income, but to Mary they held a stronger fascination. Intrepid and patient, she eventually discovered fossils that would change people’s vision of the past.
Across the ocean, Maria Mitchell helped her mapmaker father in the whaling village of Nantucket. At night they explored the starry sky through his telescope. Maria longed to discover a new comet—and after years of studying the night sky, she finally did.
I received this book in my The YA Chronicles box and the first thing I must say is this book is gorgeous! Look at it! They promised a gorgeous book and they definitely delivered.
On to the book! This book is written entirely in verse and was a really unique way of writing the story. It explores three women in science in three different time periods, real women with real stories. While it’s written in a fictional manner, learning about Maria Merian, Mary Anning and Maria Mitchell was really great! They each had such interesting lives and stories and reading in verse about them pulled you into the story and into their shoes.
I loved that this story spoke about how being women did decrease the amount of influence they could have over their lives, but how they didn’t let that stop them in pursuing their dreams. Issues such as family, marriage, expectations are all mentioned and addressed in a really good way. I also love how the fathers of these women end up being a good influence on them despite the struggle in the beginning
This was such a nice book and an easy read too with me finishing it in just over a day.
While I do love reading books in verse and believe it can be a really powerful writing device, some parts of this book felt as though they were simply sentences that were broken up for no real reason. Short sentences are great but the breaks can sometimes feel a little bit over the top. However, this does not take away from the writing which is still beautiful.
Before each section in this book is a quote about the woman being spoken about as well as an illustration and it just adds to the beauty of the book. I just love how it gives you a bit of introduction to the scientist being spoken about.
I also love the author’s note at the end of this book which was my favourite part. I love to hear an author’s thoughts about her book and why she deems it important to write about.
Anyone who loves to read interesting books about interesting women. Even if you don’t love science, I still recommend checking it out! I don’t love science but really loved reading this book.
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
“As Maria Mitchell pointed out in 1875, ‘Science needs women’.”
“Stars crown the world, she said, but the lights in your eyes, those are stars, too.
They make up your crown, he said.”
“There’s more in the earth than anyone knows. We’ll find wonders.”
“No one wants to stumble into gates on moonless nights to trip in holes dug by dogs, but Maria finds more beauty than danger in night.”
This would have been a book I would never have picked up myself so I am so glad that I got to read it. It was a really good book and I highly recommend you check it out.
xx Maddy xx