Who Did It First? 50 Scientists, Artists, and Mathematicians Who Revolutionized the World

Holt. Oct. 2019. 128p. pap. $18.99. ISBN 9781250211712.
Gr 3-6–Arranged in chronological order, these 50 historical and contemporary figures include scientists, mathematicians, artists, and engineers who come from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. A majority of the people have a page-long description of their life and work, along with a highlighted quote, but some only receive a paragraph. There are a significant number of lesser-known innovators (Alexa Canady, the first female African-American neurosurgeon), along with familiar faces like Isaac Newton and Ada Lovelace. The real highlight of this book, however, is the artwork; Kuhwald’s digitally-painted portraits depict these trailblazers in vibrant color, surrounded by settings and patterns that reflect each person’s work and personality.
VERDICT Although this book will not provide adequate details for a school report, it may motivate some readers to dig deeper into the lives of many inspirational pioneers.

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