The Weekend Reading List: Wonder Women

Wonder Women by Sam Maggs and illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino

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The Stats:

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2016
  • Non-fiction, women, history, collection of biographies, boss women with boss stories that we should all know, the original “nasty women”
  • 3.8/5
  • Warnings: Not for anyone who thinks putting a woman to work is a very dangerous thing.

From Goodreads:

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

Zo’s Review:

Look left, look right. Unless you’re in the middle of no-where, something that you’re looking at was probably, in part, influenced by a – wait for it – WONDER WOMAN!!!

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No. Not the Wonder Woman (though her comic but character development history is pretty interesting…that’s another blog post for another time). But a wonder woman. Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History showcases what I’m sure is only a small percentage of the amazing, smart, intelligent women who have ever lived and contributed to the world.

Of course the book mentions the few well known women that have been able to not slip through the cracks of male dominated history such as Ada Lovelace, Sara Josephine Baker, Madam C.J. Walker, and Amelia Earhart. But what’s really great about Wonder Women – and perhaps what is sad about what is taught in history class – is that even though these women are given their deserved nods, there are so many other women from different parts of the world and with different backgrounds that are highlighted and showcased, some many of us have never heard of before. What is also really fantastic about the book is not only does it look at awesomely amazing women from the past but there are also parts of the book where current awesomely amazing innovators, inventors, and trailblazer women  are interviewed and talk about their respective fields.

The book is broken up into different sections: Women of Science, Women of Medicine, Women of Espionage, Women of Innovation, and Women of Adventure. Each section has several main women that they focus on, a few that you may have heard of but many whose names are unfortunately not as prevalent in our minds compared to their male counterparts.

What is done in Wonder Women is super simple and yet – because many of these women barely get the recognition that they deserve – super effective in not only how inspiring these women are, but how we as a society really need to raise up and encourage the next generation of brilliant female thinkers.

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Overall, Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History is a fantastic book and I hope it inspires others to produce more well researched stories about these amazing women and about the undoubtedly many more who have yet to had their stories shared with the rest of the world. This isn’t a book that you should give to the young girls in your life to inspire them (though you should), but it’s also a book that everyone should read during this time where the rights of women are being threatened by those who erroneously choose to repeat history.

There are 25 wonder women in this book. It shouldn’t be that hard to remember their names and legacies.

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Seriously Michelle. I would totally vote for you in 2020.

I received a copy of this book from the NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

What do you all think? Have you read Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Saturday/Weekend Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.

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