Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars (Discovering Women in Science)
Stone Pine Press (2008)
Reviewed by Avery Largent (9) for Reader Views (5/08)
“Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars” is an exciting book of many tales of (yeah, you guessed it!) amazing women astronomers throughout time. Starting with EnHeduanna, born 2350 BC, and ending with Jill Cornell Tarter, born 1944, this book leads you through an exciting track of those historic women who became astronomers, despite what troubles come in their way.
At first glance, “Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars” seems like a boring old science book. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see it’s an exciting and inspiring book. I think all girls who hope to be scientists or astronomers should read it. In the stories, it doesn’t just talk about the women and about how they did certain things, it also explains the science behind their discoveries. In one spot, it shows how astronomers use physical constants. The speed of light is one constant astronomers use, and I found that part a very interesting read. When the author explains things, you feel like you’re a scientist yourself, sitting in a science lab and learning to be an astronomer alongside these other great women.
Author Mabel Armstrong is obviously an expert in science. She knows so much about each astronomer, you might have thought she had been friends with every one of these fantastic women. Beside her knowledge, her musical, descriptive words tell inspiring stories. The women in the story show spirit, bravery, and determination. Most of the women in the stories are unsupported by their families just because they are women. They were not taken seriously. When the astronomers were interviewed in their time periods, they were asked silly and personal questions that sometimes didn’t even relate to space, like, “Do you cry when you get angry?” However, the women always just ignored their skeptics, and they worked hard to become what they had aimed to be. Anyone who reads this book will be inspired to follow the lead of these amazing women.
I would recommend “Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars” to my friends, and I am excited to reread the book. It’s a real page-turner; the exciting tales keep you reading for hours on end. I hope every girl who wants to be an astronomer at least once reads these engrossing stories. I’m looking forward to reading whatever Mabel Armstrong comes out with next.