Deborah Kalb interviews author Laura Lawlor. Read the Q & A on Kalb's blog. Discover Lawlor's approach to the research behind the stories, the common traits possessed by each of the six women, the impact of World War II, and how the women's experiences compare with the status of women today.

Review from Suzanne Costner, library media specialist, on her blog for the Fairview Elementary School in Maryville, TN. Read her comments here.

    Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World

    Outstanding Science LogoSUPER WOMEN: Six Scientists Who Changed the World (Holiday House 2017) named by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council on the 2018 list of exceptional books appropriate for use in the social studies classroom. NCSS and CBC list here

    From the publisher: "Profiles of six amazing women who defied prejudice to succeed in the sciences using genius, ambition, and perseverance! Laurie Lawlor deftly paints portraits of each of these pioneers who refused to take no for an answer, pursuing their passions through fieldwork, observations, laboratories and research vessels in the face of sexism. Lawlor tells the stories of Eugenie Clark, an ichthyologist who swam with sharks; Marie Tharp, a cartographer who mapped the ocean floor; Katherine Coleman Johnson, a mathematician who calculated trajectories for NASA flights; Florence Hawley Ellis, an anthropologist of Pueblo cultures who pioneered tree-ring dating; Gertrude Elion, a pharmacologist who developed treatments for leukemia and AIDS; and Margaret Burbidge, an astrophysicist who formulated a theory of quasars."

    PRESS RELEASE - February 11, 2017 (word document)

Sue Heavenrich writes about science topics on her blog Archimedes Notebook - in this entry she joins in STEM Friday to discuss Superwomen.

Heavenrich, Sue. (6 Oct 2017) Super Women ~ Six scienntists who changed the world. Archimedes Notebook: Hands-on science exploration for children and their parents. (WEB)


    Lawlor, Laurie. Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World. Holiday, 2017. 48 p. Holiday, 2017. hardcover, $16.95. (9780823436750). 509.2/52.

    Katherine Coleman Johnson who is one of the six scientists profiled here was also one of the subjects of the 2017 20th Century Fox movie Hidden Figures (trailer from 20th Century Fox) which also featured Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson -- all African American women who were instrumental in John Glenn's walk in space. Johnson was a scientist extraordinaire. Her accomplishments at NASA was only one of the contributions being made by women in the science field. This book tells us of five more who changed the world -- and were pretty much hidden from history until now. Lawlor's book gives us a first glimpse of six scientists who did change the world.

    An Important entry into the lexicon of books that focus on the contributions of women.

    star reviewStar Review

    Eugenie Clark (ichthyologist), Marie Tharp (cartographer), Florence Hawley Ellis (anthropologist), Gertrude Elion (pharmacologist), Margaret Burbidge (astrophysicist), and Katherine Coleman Johnson (the mathematician recently popularized by Hidden Figures). What do these women have in common that qualify them as Super Women? They were trailblazers during the 1930s through 1960s—a time when women were not acknowledged as career-oriented and not permitted to work alongside male coworkers. In spite of incessant discrimination and sexism, these women courageously pursued their scientific passions. ... Lawlor paints powerful portrayals of those who overcame barriers and refused to be labeled as quitters, forcing them to find creative ways to succeed in their careers. ~ Booklist


    "Inspiring profiles of six 20th-century trailblazers. Aside from "Shark Lady" Eugenie Clark and, thanks to attention inspired by recent histories and a film, NASA "computer" Katherine Coleman Johnson, Lawlor's subjects will likely be new to young readers. All were, as the author puts it, struck by "thunderbolts of discrimination" for being women and, in the cases of Clark (whose mother was Japanese) and Johnson (who was African-American), people "of color." Nevertheless, they persevered, made important discoveries in their varied fields, and, eventually at least, earned significant recognition. Photos and direct quotes appear but sparingly in the narratives, but readers will come away with some sense of each groundbreaker's character and private life to go with concise but lucid explanations of her contributions. If some of the obstacles they faced seem ridiculous to contemporary readers—in order to use the Mount Wilson Observatory in the mid-1950s, for instance, "quasar hunter" Eleanor Margaret Burbidge had to pose as her husband's assistant and could not use the dining hall or bathroom—even now no one will argue that the playing field has leveled for women in the sciences. A handful of new role models, along with light shed on just who made certain significant advances in astronomy, archaeology, biology, medicine, and plate tectonics. (bibliography) (Collective biography. 11-15)" ~ Kirkus Reviews


    "This compilation of short biographies of six pioneering women scientists is a welcome and fascinating addition to STEM resources. Several of these women are lesser known, but some readers will recognize Katherine Coleman Johnson, the central subject of the hit movie Hidden Figures. All six women overcame great prejudice and bias in scientific fields such as aerospace, marine biology, oceanography, archaeology, astronomy, and medical research. The biographies are short but thorough and illustrated with black-and-white photographs of the scientists and their work....Put this in students' hands to inspire and encourage scientific pursuits. VERDICT This book hits the right notes—women, biography, and STEM—and does it excellently." ~ School Library Journal

    Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World (2017) Illustrated with black and white photographs and pictures. Holiday House. ISBN-10: 0823436756.ISBN-13: 978-0823436750. Collective Biography.

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