Atheneum Books for Young Readers,
Audience: Older Children, All Teens
A novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.
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.
Finding Wonders isn’t my usual type of book. I’m not a big fan of science (my brain just doesn’t work that way.) However, good nonfiction books for teens are few and far between, and this one seemed promising. It’s unique in the fact that it’s in verse and all about women in science. However, I remember none of it. Maybe it’s because I’m not interested in science, maybe it’s because I read it too fast, maybe because it’s just forgettable. In spite of that, I would definitely recommend it to someone interested in science.