Book Reviews

Finding Wonders By Jeannine Atkins

Reading isn’t just following a sentence straight forward, but can be a stutter, stopping to muse, then starting again, following stories past the pages.

I received this book in the December YA Chronicles box the theme being Simply Wonderful. Now I wouldn’t normally pick a book like this myself to read as I tend to choose books I know I will like. But the idea of bookish boxes are to expand your reading with different books and after reading the letter from the team at The YA Chronicles about Finding Wonders I was excited to give it a read.

The first thing I noticed when I opened this book was that it was all written in verse. This was really interesting, I had never read a book set out this way but found really easy and smooth to read.

Finding Wonders is the story of three girls who changed science in a time when girls were restricted from learning. Maria Merian, Mary Anning and Maria Mitchell all pursued their passions and in doing so left their own personal marks on science.

Maria Merian was born in 1647, she grew up in a time when few dared to use science and focused on superstitions. Maria saw past these stories and became one of the first people to understand the metamorphosis of caterpillars.

After reading about Maria I went online and continued reading about this amazing women who after a lot of controversy in her life still created amazing art. Seriously guys go look at her paintings, they are amazing!

Mary Anning was born in 1799, she grew up a century after Maria Merian when science was finally gaining ground. Mary discovered patterns in stones as well as fossils that she would sell to wealth scholars to feed and care for her family.

Mary’s life was full of loss but after some time she lived a comfortable life discovering fossils and became someone scholars would seek out for assistance in research. Even after having to leave schooling at a young age, Mary grew to read complicated reports and became an amazing woman.

Maria Mitchell (pronounced ma- rye- ah) was born in 1818, she grew up assisting her father in making star charts that helped sailors and travelers travel the sea safely. As she grew up she was trusted by her father to take on more serious rolls such as adjusting  chronometers, which if were even slightly off would cause ships to get lost at sea.

Maria taught herself mathematics to help further her understanding of the night sky, she was also the one to discover Comet 1847 VI which is also known as Miss Mitchell’s comet.

I loved the writing style and learned so much about these amazing women. I found myself inspired by reading about the lives these women and what they went through to peruse things they loved. Now days women have more freedom (in some cultures this is still not the case) and to read about the superstition preventing them from learning of doing certain things really interested me.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes science, girl power and is after an easy but interesting read. I would even recommend just taking the names of these women, putting it in Google and reading about them, they contributed some amazing things to science and their stories are inspiring.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Happy reading everyone!

Jess

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