Monday, July 20, 2015

read | Headstrong

Headstrong by Rachel Swaby is a collection of mini-bios of prominent female scientists. It covers fields from medicine to invention, so there’s a topic for everyone. The biographies are concise at about three pages each, and Swaby does a good job of describing scientific processes with the right balance of technical jargon and layman’s terms. It’s easy to understand the improvements the scientists were making and you still learn enough of the appropriate terminology to sound like you really know what you’re talking about if you want to explain what you’ve read to someone else. Most of the biographies weave in a considerable amount of information about the women’s personalities and life experiences to help you create a sense of who they were, an impressive feat in so few words. The biographies are very consistent in tone, which helps create a continuous feel if you decide to read the book in a couple of sittings. That being said, this is definitely a book you can pick up occasionally and leaf through a story or two.
This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone interested in the STEM fields. I don’t think it would do much to dispel an existing dislike for science or math, but it would definitely be inspiring to someone who has an interest in science or learning in general. This book is straightforward enough for upper elementary schoolers, so it’s a good opportunity to introduce a fascination before too many worksheets make science seem boring. There are a few sections where a background in chemistry might be helpful, but then I enjoyed learning about Sally Ride and my rocket science expertise is non-existent. This feels like the kind of book a precocious protagonist would find invaluable, and it’s definitely a very readable gateway to nonfiction.
3 stars out of 5
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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