Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Booknote: Wonder Women

Sam Maggs, Wonder Women: 25 innovators, inventors, and trailblazers who changed history. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books, 2016.  ISBN: 978-1-59474-925-4.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: women and gender studies, history
Format: paperback
Source: Galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to like this book more, but the author's constant narrative interruptions, interjections, and invasive comments in the text just got too annoying. The best way to describe the experience is like going to watch a new movie with someone who has seen it already, and while the movie is playing, she won't shut up about it and let you watch it. What could have been a neat learning experience was more aggravating than anything else.

Now, if you can  get over the author's constant fangirl interruptions, you can find a lot to like in this book. The book contains the stories of 25 amazing women. These were women philosophers, inventors, scientists, medical doctors, adventurers, innovators, and spies. More importantly, odds are good you never heard of many of them. Why? They are usually left out of history books. Plus, as often  happens to women, men took the credit for things the women did and went on to fame and glory. The author is here to right wrongs and give these great women the credit due to them. Additionally the book is a good source of inspiration for young girls. When young girl says she wants to be a doctor or astronaut, and she needs inspiration, hand her this book.

The book is organized into five thematic chapters. Each chapter has five stories. In addition, each chapter also features short narratives, a paragraph or so each, of other women not to be missed. Each chapter then ends with  a short interview/Q&A with  a career woman today. The book also features a bibliography (or rather will feature one. The galley I got for review did not include the actual bibliography, so I cannot comment on what sources the author may have used).

I'd say one of the best things you can do for a young girl is to get her this book. Despite my initial reservations, I think it is a good source for inspiration and learning. It fills gaps in the history that have been ignored for too long. The book is good for middle school readers and up. It is definitely  recommended for public libraries for placement in their children and young adult collections. I am sure a few adults will enjoy it too.

3 out of 5 stars.

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