Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Women's History Month - Women Who Impacted The STEM World! 3.04.20

Wednesdays I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
#kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

Here are some mighty women who had an impact in the STEM world!

What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley  Barrett
What Miss Mitchell Saw
written by Hayley Barrett
illustrated by Diana Sudyka
I love how the illustrations take on a life of their own with this book - seeing the stars drawn on young Maria's dress and the contrast of colors between the night sky and the bright space drawings.  
This book introduces us to Maria Mitchell who discovered a comet in 1847.  Back when women were not encouraged to pursue higher education, Maria had the support of her family and lots of curiosity to keep her studying and learning the skies.
There is additional backmatter and information found on the author's website for more on Miss Mitchell!

The Astronaut with a Song for the Stars by Julia Finley Mosca
The Astronaut With a Song for the Stars: The Story of Dr. Ellen Ochoa
written by Julia Finley Mosca
illustrated by Daniel Rieley
I'm sad to say I really did not know much about this amazing astronaut before I read this book.  Grateful for the wonderful biographies that are written now to share some of these amazing feats!
Dr. Ochoa is the first Latina woman in space and she worked hard for that honor!  Not giving up, staying determined, and through lots of hard work, Dr. Ochoa achieved so much in her career!  I particularly enjoyed seeing how she combined the arts and science in her career!
Lots of backmatter, including thoughts from Dr. Ochoa!

Queen of Physics by Teresa Robeson
Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom
written by Teresa Robeson
illustrated by Rebecca Huang
There were times in this book that I was thinking the information was too smart for even me to understand!  Chien Shiung was an amazing scientist and researcher who grew up in China when it was unheard of for girls to get an education.  I really enjoyed learning how her father did not believe this so he started a school just for girls!

Instructions Not Included by Tami Lewis Brown
Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future
written by Tami Lewis Brown and Debbie Loren Dunn
illustrated by Chelsea Beck
Young readers have become more familiar with the stories of Katherine Johnson and her Hidden Figures coders, but here are three women who have also made their mark on the coding world.

The House That Cleaned Itself by Susan Romberg
The House That Cleaned Itself: The True Story of Frances Gabe's (Mostly) Marvelous Invention
written by Laura Dershewitz and Susan Romberg
illustrated by Meghann Rader
What a neat idea - a house that cleans itself!  Impractical, perhaps, but an idea that may get the wheels rolling in another inventor!  Frances Gabe was tired of cleaning house so while an idea percolated.... decades later she went about inventing the technology needed to make this idea come true!  While her idea never really took off, we can admire the way Gabe took an idea and worked with it, studied different information, and put that knowledge to use!  And maybe one day....

Me and the Sky by Beverley Bass
Me and the Sky: Captain Beverley Bass, Pioneering Pilot
written by Beverley Bass and Cynthia Williams
illustrated by Joanie Stone
Thanks to Kristen Picone for telling me about this one.  I liked that it told the story of a woman who was a pioneer for piloting planes - something we don't hear/read a lot about.  Grateful to have biographies like this to show women continue to break gender barriers.

I hope you find some time to read these books to your classes - you never know, the next woman inventor may just be sitting in your audience!


  1. Between your books shared and Alyson's, it looks like I have a lot of books to find and read, Michele. I'm intrigued by The House That Cleaned Itself and the book about Dr. Ellen Ochoa. It is wonderful that these stories are being told! Thanks!

  2. Thank you for reminding me I still need to read The Queen of Physics. There are so many good titles listed here.

  3. I need Frances Gabe's invention! I think it's great to share with kids stories about inventions that didn't quite work. That's the reality of a lot of what we attempt in life. I'm glad to know about this book.

  4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, What Miss Mitchell Saw, both Hayley's lyrical text and Diana's gorgeous art. Such a beautiful book! And Teresa's book was wonderful too! Thanks for the other recs--they were not on my radar!

  5. very poetic. To launch a Children's book, reviews are very important. Try to get more visibility and sales in a crowded marketplace. I can do a free book trailer for you !