Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wonder Women - Sam Maggs

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
Sam Maggs

Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive
bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

Please Pass The Books Review:

I read this and then passed it to my thirteen-year old daughter who read it right after me. This is a combination review from both of us: myself on content, hers on its delivery.

I'm always intrigued by books that celebrate women. As a mother who loves to read, when I come across something that could be empowering to my young daughter, that intrigue intensifies. I loved that Maggs put forward many women who aren't very well known (or, frankly, who aren't known at all) in Wonder Women.

Sadly, all of this was lost on my teen daughter because she couldn't get past the writing. Wonder Women was tossed aside with a sigh and a simple statement: "The writing is like when Grandma pretends to talk to me like we're the same age." When Grandma does it, she's just being silly and knows she sounds ridiculous. When it's done in Wonder Women, it's embarrassing.

It's impossible to rate a book above two stars when the people it's meant to educate (tweens, teens, and young women) won't read it because it's trying too hard to sit at the cool-kid table. Sadly, all the good that could have come from this book is lost when my daughter (a voracious reader herself) refuses to finish it.


I'd like to thank Net Galley and the publisher, Quirk Books, for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which this certainly is.

UPDATE: I have to add something here, as I received an unusual comment on another forum attempting to contradict this review. Here's a note to publishers, authors, and their friends and family: It is generally considered in bad taste by most casual readers - and certainly by all professional reviewers - to have reviews argued over online by people who (whether true or not) will be presumed to be affiliated with the author. This is particularly true when it appears the commenter is on a personal crusade to try and invalidate the opinion of a 13-year old girl, as was the case here.

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