Finding Wonders

Three Girls Who Changed Science

Written by Jeannine Atkins

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.

This is a novel in verse about three girls from three different times who defied socials norms and grew up to become scientists. I really enjoyed this book. Students who like poetry, science, or history will also enjoy this book. It is a fairly quick read that may spark their interest in other historical fiction books or biographies.

Review by Jessica Riggs, Robert Frost Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-6

Finding Wonders
Written by Jeannine Atkins
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
195 pages
Release Date: September 20, 2016

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