A bright tale of a life dedicated to science, well stocked with dramatic moments and discoveries.

THE WOMAN WHO SPLIT THE ATOM

THE LIFE OF LISE MEITNER

A scorching profile of a brilliant physicist whose proper recognition was long delayed thanks to sexism, antisemitism, and personal betrayal.

In a career much like her older contemporary Marie Curie’s, Meitner was a relentless researcher subjected to rabid prejudice against women in the sciences. Nevertheless, she was rewarded some grudging, minimal support through her world-changing discoveries. She had the further obstacles of being Jewish in Hitler’s Germany—and of working closely and fruitfully for decades with Otto Hahn, who, as Moss carefully documents, then pressured her to quit the Berlin institute he headed rather than shield her from the Nazis, neglected to mention in his lecture after being awarded a Nobel Prize that she had provided the essential insights about nuclear fission that explained his experimental results, and repeatedly dismissed her as bitter. Despite being a Nobel also-ran no fewer than 48 times, Meitner made multiple attempts to mend fences with Hahn, even while taking him to task for joining the postwar German apologists. Meanwhile, she twice narrowly escaped capture on her flight from the Third Reich, worked with Allied intelligence during the war, and went on to become a pacifist who, like Einstein, was horrified at the way nuclear energy was weaponized. She cuts a small, neat, shy figure in the scene-setting graphic panels that open each chapter, but her intellect and determination shine on every page.

A bright tale of a life dedicated to science, well stocked with dramatic moments and discoveries. (author’s note, timeline, glossary, biographical profiles, notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Biography. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5853-9

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history.

MOTOR GIRLS

HOW WOMEN TOOK THE WHEEL AND DROVE BOLDLY INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Well-documented proof that, when it came to early automobiles, it wasn’t just men who took the wheel.

Despite relentlessly flashy page design that is more distracting than otherwise and a faint typeface sure to induce eyestrain, this companion to Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (2011) chronicles decided shifts in gender attitudes and expectations as it puts women (American women, mostly) behind the wheel in the first decades of the 20th century. Sidebar profiles and features, photos, advertisements, and clippings from contemporary magazines and newspapers festoon a revved-up narrative that is often set in angular blocks for added drama. Along with paying particular attention to women who went on the road to campaign for the vote and drove ambulances and other motor vehicles during World War I, Macy recounts notable speed and endurance races, and she introduces skilled drivers/mechanics such as Alice Ramsey and Joan Newton Cuneo. She also diversifies the predominantly white cast with nods to Madam C.J. Walker, her daughter, A’Lelia (both avid motorists), and the wartime Colored Women’s Motor Corps. An intro by Danica Patrick, checklists of “motoring milestones,” and an extended account of an 1895 race run and won by men do more for the page count than the overall story—but it’s nonetheless a story worth the telling.

Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history. (index, statistics, source notes, annotated reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2697-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike.

ULTIMATE OCEANPEDIA

THE MOST COMPLETE OCEAN REFERENCE EVER

A compendium of all things oceanic, from surface to depths, covering biology, geology, coasts, climatic phenomena, and human use and abuse.

Considering the size of the general topic, the coverage isn’t as shallow as it might be. Hundreds of crisply professional nature photos and big, easy-to-follow charts and diagrams anchor waves of densely packed but often breezy commentary (“Many parrotfish species also make their own sleeping bags at night—out of mucus!”) that Wilsdon pours in beneath such headers as “It’s a Shore Thing” and “Belize It or Not!” Overviews of each ocean, of plate tectonics, the action and effects of ocean currents, worldwide climate change, and physical features from islands to abyssal plains sail by in succession, but marine biology takes pride of place with page after page of photogenic sea life from tiny krill on up to whales and polar bears. The author profiles a marine ecologist and interviews an oceanographer to cap chapters on modern research, exploration, and industries, then closes with generous lists of sites to visit physically or virtually.

A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2550-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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