Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sally Ride becomes first American woman in Space: Women in Science

On this day in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space! A mission specialist, we dedicate this day to her, by looking at books with women in science.


Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. I'm always disappointed how hard it is to get kids to do their biography projects on Marie Curie. She was a female scientist in a time that wasn't done. She won 2 Nobel prizes. She had a wonderful partnership with her husband. After he died and she remarried, duels were fought over her. And she unleashed something that we still can't decide if it's a blessing in clean power or if it's destructive potential will end us all.

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery and Temple Grandin. This inspiring biography details how Grandin is able to use her autism to her advantage. She has long been interested and obsessed with cows and has turned this passion into revolutionizing the livestock industry to make it much more humane. Older readers may want to turn straight to Grandin's books such as The Way I See It.

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan. We tend to forget a few things about the Manhattan project. 1-- it wasn't solely at Los Alamos-- a lot of work also happened at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 2--it wasn't all men-- there were female scientists researching as well. This book focuses on the women of Oak Ridge, their lives and their contributions to the project.


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. This steampunk version of WWI pits the Darwinist Allies (with their weapons and transport made by splicing DNA in ways we've never imagined) and the Clanker Axis Powers (with weapons and vehicles made of gears and metal.) Deryn just wants to fly, so disguised herself as a boy. Alek's parents (the Archduke and his wife) has been murdered in Serbia and he's next on the hit list. But when they meet, and a lady scientist with a very special cargo comes on board, everything changes. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Behemoth.

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantasky. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was based a real story. Jill's the descendant of good-scientist Jekyll, but Tristen is descended from the monster Hyde, and all of the men in his family carry the Hyde curse. Working together, if they can ignore their feelings for each other, they might win a chemistry competition that would pay for Jill to go to college, but even more, save both of them.

The Half-life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin. A sweet love story told in alternating chapters and voices, Lianna is spending the summer in the lab, not thinking at all about boys since someone called her a slut. Hank is spending the summer working at the record store, using his encyclopedic knowledge of music to help him earn enough money to buy the guitar he has his eye on.


Fat Cat by Robin Brande. The premise of Mr. Fizer's Special Topics in Research Science is that on the first day of school, you draw a picture from a stack. You have an hour to design a science fair project related to that picture. Your project remains top secret until the end-of-the-year science fair. Mr. Fizer's students tend to win, and a college recommendation from him can open doors at universities that Cat wouldn't otherwise be able to consider. But her experiment is going to change her life beyond the classroom.

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro. After assisting her midwife mother with several births and watching her brother die from infected wounds after a carriage accident, Prudence wants to know real things, not the stuff they teach her at finishing school. She's elated to get a job with the Department of Health as they investigate the spread of typhoid.

Gamma Glamma by Kim Flores. Normally, being asked to enter the science fair would be an honor, but it's the same day as Homecoming--something Luz does not want to miss. Her solution? Come up with a project so outrageous, there's no way it will win and she won't have to go! So, she's using science to make people popular. Her lab cooks it all up--jelly beans that make you tan, bubble gum that helps your conversational skills, and specially formulated perfume. Sadly, it turns out when you made all your friends super-popular, there's no one left to eat lunch with. And she her success means she still has to go to Science Fair.

What are your favorite books about women in science?

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