- 36 pages
- Level: all audiences — younger readers. Click here for other resources for younger readers.
This book by Laura Alary, illustrated by Ellen Rooney, provides a colorful overview of Maria Mitchell’s life and work that touches, if only lightly, on matters of faith. Mitchell’s Quaker faith appears on one page of the book proper; it is also briefly discussed in author’s note for older readers toward the end of the book. Also, the life of the large Mitchell family is portrayed quite warmly.
From the publisher, Kids Can Press:
This inspiring picture book biography tells the extraordinary story of pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell.
Maria longed to travel beyond her small island of Nantucket. But she wasn’t sure how. Her father taught her to look to the stars for guidance. If you knew how to read them, he said, the stars could tell you where you were, and where you needed to go. They spent hours scanning the night sky together through a telescope on the roof. Maria learned how to use astronomers’ tools to measure and track time by the stars. But what could she do with her skills? Then, one day, she heard that a prize was being offered to the first person to find a new comet. Could this be the opportunity she was waiting for?
This absorbing picture book biography by Laura Alary tells the fascinating, though not well-known, story of a remarkable nineteenth-century woman scientist and women’s rights advocate. After winning that prize for discovering a comet, Maria Mitchell would go on to become the first professional female astronomer in the United States, first female member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and one of the first female college professors.
Click here for a preview, courtesy of Google Books.