Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
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?Disclaimer: I received a copy for review from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way, nor am I being compensated for this post.
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.
Long time no see, everyone! So, this isn't really a comeback, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this incredible book with y'all. I loved The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy and knew I had to pick this one up too.
Wonder Women is pretty straightforward in its organization. The 25 women are split by category, and within each category are a few highlighted women whose stories are told, along with a few shorter introductions for a handful of other ladies at the end of each section. Then, the whole category is capped with an interview with a current day wonder woman in the field.
Albeit the intros/stories being short, they are concise, provide the background of these women, and explains what they did and why they're often left out of history. It's so sad to see these women, who span time periods, backgrounds, and locations, who were cheated out of their glory by greedy men who didn't appreciate and respect women in their fields. I feel guilty for not knowing most of these women (but am glad I know some of them). It's such a sad skewing of history and helps to perpetuate some people's perception of female weakness and inability, when that is clearly not the case. These women should receive all the credit they rightfully deserve. I only hope that history rights itself from now on, not lessening the accomplishments of women across all fields.
As a non-STEM student with many STEM friends and in a STEM-dominated school, it was interesting that Maggs chose to mostly highlight women in the STEM fields, which I totally understand. These fields are seriously lacking in female representation, and the time to change that is NOW (or really yesterday). But I would've loved to hear about the ladies in other fields who were similarly cheated out, who don't get the credit they deserve, who also did incredible things in their fields but aren't praised and respected for it and who were also lost to history and time.
But returning back to the point, I really love Maggs' voice in this book as well. It's colloquial enough but still professional enough to get the point across; it connects to young people and to fangirls and boys everywhere. This is a simple enough read for slightly younger audiences, which I think is great because people of all ages can begin to learn about these women. And this is a great starting point; I know I've certainly looked up some of these women to learn more about them/their contribution.
I truly love this fabulous little book and will certainly be recommending this to friends and sending it as gifts. This is clear proof that our textbooks need to change to reflect true history, not just male history, and that we need to stop looking down on women and diminishing their accomplishments and innovations in all fields. If this book can teach anything, it's that when women are given access, they can do and achieve incredible thing. So thank you to these pioneering ladies who did incredible things and have left incredible legacies; the world would not be the same without them, and I hope we will celebrate them some day the way we celebrate Watson and Crick, Einstein, and others.
In addition! I would like to bring your attention to Quirk Books' pre-order campaign for Wonder Women. You still have a few days to pre-order and submit proof!
Everyone who preorders will receive a download link to these two incredible pieces of art inspired by the book and the women included in it. You'll also be entered to win one of two SIGNED and framed versions of these prints. So what are you waiting for???
So if you'd want these, here's the link again!