Review: ‘Wonder Women’ by Sam Maggs


Published by: Quirk Books

Publication Date: 18th October 2016

ISBN: 9781594749254

RRP: £11.99


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 stick-to-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.


My Review

This is a worthy effort, highlighting the women of the past who made major contributions to the world, especially women of colour, to encourage girls in to STEM professions and study. Biographies of women scientists were a great encouragement when I was a teenager and trying to decide the way forward in my studies. I think this little book would really encourage girls with an interest in the sciences to take their interests further.

Unfortunately Maggs tries too hard to appeal to her readers with informal and ‘teenager’ language. It’s off-putting; I would have been truly irritated by it as a teenager because I’d have found it condescending that the author couldn’t write in a way that treats (hypothetical) me, the teenage reader, seriously.


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