Finding Wonders

Three Girls Who Changed Science

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About The Book

This “evocative and beautiful” (School Library Journal) novel “vividly imagines the lives of three girls” (Booklist, starred review) in three different time periods as they grow 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.

Told in vibrant, evocative poems, this stunning novel celebrates the joy of discovery and finding wonder in the world around us.

About The Author
Photo courtesy of author

Jeannine Atkins is the author of several books for young readers about courageous women, including Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis; Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science; and the highly praised Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Jeannine teaches children’s literature at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst and writing at Simmons College. She lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at JeannineAtkins.com.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (September 2016)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481465670
  • Grades: 5 and up
  • Ages: 10 - 99
  • Lexile ® 970L ? The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

* “Vividly imagines the lives of three girls who grew up to become famous for their achievements in science. . . . Atkins has a knack for turning a phrase. . . . Science is woven through the narratives, but within the fabric of the characters’ daily lives and family struggles. . . . each of these three perceptive portrayals is original and memorable.”

– Booklist, starred review

“Evocative and beautiful. Highly recommended for fans of poetry about the natural world and the lives of real people.”

– School Library Journal

* “Distinguished for both content and elegance. . . . Readers are lured in by strong openings and vivid storytelling. . . . With each chaptered poem a gem in its own right, this collection will appeal to poetry lovers as well as awakening scientists.”

– BCCB, starred review

“Atkins guides readers through the themes that connect the women’s scientific quests, from a boundary-pushing desire for knowledge . . . to the satisfaction they find in their work.”

– Horn Book

“Inspirational and informative, Atkins shows how pursuing one’s passion for science, math, or any field considered nontraditional is worth the risk.”

– Kirkus Reviews

Awards and Honors
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
  • CBC-NSTA Best STEM Book
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More books from this author: Jeannine Atkins