Great Scientists Through History


Give these fantastic biographies about amazing scientists a try!


Marie Curie

Demi

Celebrated author and artist Demi beautifully portrays the life and story of Marie Curie, the revolutionary scientist and winner of two Nobel Prizes. Maria Salomea Sklodowaska was born on November 7, 1867. Her family called her Manya, but the world would remember her by another name: Marie Curie, one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. In a time when few women attended college, Marie earned degrees in physics and mathematics and went on to discover two elements: radium and polonium. She also invented a new word along the way: radioactive. This book celebrates her momentous achievements while also educating its readers about her scientific accomplishments and their implications.

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One Step Further

Katherine Johnson

The only autobiographical account in picture book format of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson's remarkable life tells the story of the Hidden Figures hero as you've never read it before. Lyrical, read-aloud text brings readers along on the journey as she rises above adversity to find her place among the stars.

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Born Curious

Martha Freeman

Discover the histories of twenty incredible female scientists in this inspiring biography collection from beloved author Martha Freeman and Google Doodler Katy Wu. Why do galaxies spin the way they do? What’s the best kind of house for a Komodo dragon? Can you cure malaria with medicine made from a plant? The scientists and mathematicians in Born Curious sought answers to these and many other fascinating questions. And it’s lucky for us they did. Without their vision, insight, and hard work, the world would be a sicker, dirtier, and more dangerous place. The twenty groundbreaking women—including Rosalind Franklin, Marie Tharp, Shirley Anne Jackson, and more—came from all kinds of backgrounds and had all kinds of life experiences. Some grew up rich. Some grew up poor. Some were always the smartest kid in class. Some struggled to do well in school. But all had one thing in common: They were born curious. Are you curious, too? Read on.

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The Girl Who Drew Butterflies

Joyce Sidman

Robert F. Sibert Medal winner Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them? One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.

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I Am Jane Goodall

Brad Meltzer

This book features Jane Goodall, the scientist and conservationist who is famous for her work with chimpanzees. After receiving a stuffed animal chimpanzee for her first birthday, Jane Goodall's love of animals only grew. She saw what humans and animals had in common, not what makes us different, and used that to advocate for animal rights everywhere.

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Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life

Laurie Wallmark

To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling's critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today's technology.

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A Weed Is a Flower

Aliki

Discover how George Washington Carver went from a slave to an innovator of agricultural science in this luminously illustrated picture book. Born a slave, George Washington Carver went on to become the most prominent black scientist of the early twentieth century.

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Temple Grandin

Sy Montgomery

An authorized portrait about Grandin's life with autism and her groundbreaking work as a scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities describes how she overcame key disabilities through education and the support of her mother.

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Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

Patricia Valdez

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets.... While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere--she even brought a crocodile to school! When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children's tea parties--with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor. With a lively text and vibrant illustrations, scientist and writer Patricia Valdez and illustrator Felicita Sala bring to life Joan Procter's inspiring story of passion and determination.

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Seeds of Change

Jen Cullerton Johnson

A biography of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai, a female scientist who made a stand in the face of opposition to women's rights and her own Greenbelt Movement, an effort to restore Kenya's ecosystem by planting millions of trees.

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The Vast Wonder of the World

Mélina Mangal

Ernest Everett Just was not like other scientists of his time. He saw the whole, where others saw only parts. He noticed details others failed to see. He persisted in his research despite the discrimination and limitations imposed on him as an African American. His keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about egg cells and the origins of life. Through stunning illustrations and lyrical prose, this picture book presents the life and accomplishments of this long overlooked scientific pioneer.

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Newton’s Rainbow

Kathryn Lasky

Famed for his supposed encounter with a falling apple that inspired his theory of gravity, Isaac Newton (1642–1727) grew from a quiet and curious boy into one of the most influential scientists of all time. Newton's Rainbow tells the story of young Isaac—always reading, questioning, observing, and inventing—and how he eventually made his way to Cambridge University, where he studied the work of earlier scientists and began building on their accomplishments. This colorful picture book biography celebrates Newton's discoveries that illuminated the mysteries of gravity, motion, and even rainbows, discoveries that gave mankind a new understanding of the natural world, discoveries that changed science forever.

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