Her Eyes on the Stars: Maria Mitchell, Astronomer

Creston. May 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781954354135.
K-Gr 3–Captivated by the movements of the planets, comets, and stars from an early age, young Maria Mitchell would spend her nights atop the roof with her father learning how to use sky charts and the astronomical tools of the time. After viewing a partial eclipse, Mitchell’s childhood stargazing blossomed into her life’s passion. At 18, Mitchell became a librarian, one of the few professions available to women, and spent years teaching herself the complex mechanics of the sky’s movements. With this hard-fought expertise, she became the first American to discover a comet in 1847; this led to her becoming the first female professional astronomer and later, the first female professor of astronomy in the world. Wallmark charts this ascent with a colorful narrative that would certainly complement classroom curricula focused on STEM discoveries and trailblazing women in science. Wong’s illustrations are rich with 19th-century details although the characters are not as expressive as the narrative warrants, appearing stiff and doll-like.
VERDICT Regardless of the illustrations, this is a good addition to the field of STEM biographies.

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