This book is definitely a different book for me, as a general rule I stick to adult books and on occasion if there’s a really great book (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, lookin’ at you) will find myself in the teen or YA section. This book, even though it’s technically rated as a young adult is probably aimed toward a much younger crowd. Not saying it wasn’t good though, quite the contrary, I truly very much enjoyed it! And…I actually learned some things…but I’m getting a head of myself.
This book is about six female naturalist who were ground breakers in their fields. It looks at Maria Merian (b.1647), Anna Comstock (b.1854), Frances Hamerstrom (b.1907), Rachel Carson (b.1907), Miriam Rothschild (b.1908) and Jane Goodall (b.1934). Jane Goodall and Rachel Carson I think most people are familiar with, but the other four I don’t think most main stream people know them…but let me tell you, they were true ground breakers!
Maria Merian made elaborate detailed paintings of insects, at a time when women weren’t truly allowed to paint and when they did were told to focus on things of beauty…like flowers. Maria, however, was fascinated by bugs…something most daughter’s parents cringe at today, much less 350+ years ago. But thanks to this hobby of hers incredible strides were made in the field of entomology.
Jane Goodall, of course, is the lady who spent her life with the gorillas. One thing I didn’t know though is that her mother was actually a very active naturalist too. I learned in the book that when Jane first set out to study the gorillas, her mom actually went with her as well…what a cool mom?? It was also very awesome to see the impact that mothers have on their children…years later, and many years after there mothers have already passed. The picture below is of Jane brushing her hair “out in public” which her mother said a lady should never do. This event actually occurs at the end of the chapter on Jane, so her age is quite up there. I found it quite funny.
I don’t want to tell you all about the ladies, because I’m really hoping you’ll pick this book up! It truly was an incredible little book to read, and can easily be read by an adult in half an hour or so. I found my copy through paperbackswap, although it does look like a few people are waiting on there, but hey, go ahead…add your name! (Or visit your local library, you won’t be sorry!)
Note: I recently found out that the author Jeannine Atkins has a blog as well, it’s called Views From a Window Seat . Be sure to go check it out!