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All around the world, extraordinary women are doing incredible things on a daily basis. Throughout history females have shaped some of the most valuable things that we take for granted. From pioneers and trailblazers to the modern-day inventor, these inspirational books will shed light on the ladies who never gave up on their dreams of creating something unique.
Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict
Rosalind Franklin never quite fit in, but she was okay with befriending science over people. As a well-traveled woman, spending time in London and Paris, none of the sites excited her more than the laboratory. She knew she had hit the jackpot when she was tasked with studying DNA. Although her co-workers doubted her, she was determined to discover the driving force behind genetic makeup. With persistence and patience, Rosalind stayed diligent with her work, and on an otherwise ordinary day, the double helix was revealed. But what happens next is almost as shocking as the sighting itself.
Patently Female by Ethlie Ann Vare & Greg Ptacek
This mind-blowing book uncovers many amazing inventions dreamt up by females all around the globe. Although many of these women had to overcome giant obstacles, the results were worth the trials and tribulations. Many people are unaware that Barbie, buffered aspirin, and fabric softener sheets were all created by females. In addition, women were responsible for the invention of Jell-O, the drip coffeemaker, and windshield wipers. These pages are filled with incredible ideas implemented by females, and the book will leave the reader inspired to become the next creator.
The Book of Awesome Women by Becca Anderson
In this awesome book, author Becca Anderson calls women “sheroes,” and that’s precisely what they are. Beyond the sheer miracle of giving birth, women have proven that they can do it all. From working at the office all day to taking care of the home at night, many females are the silent superheroes of the world, with everything they do in between. This book is all about acknowledging successful women around the world and their ability to do it all and more. From women in sports to the ladies of cyberspace, these are the stories of 200 women who are current-day trailblazers.
Rocket Girl by George D. Morgan
Mary Sherman Morgan was always interested in science and dreamed of becoming a chemist someday. Even though this was practically unheard of in the late 1930s, it didn’t stop the ambitious high schooler from pursuing her dreams. Ten years later, amidst war and a standstill with aviation, Mary was approached to work with a German scientist to find a way to launch rockets into space. Together, they combined their talents to create a successful launch, which started an amazing career for him while keeping her in the shadows until now. This is the true story of America’s first female rocket scientist.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Hope Jahren is a geobiologist and has always had a passion for plants and science. From her early days as a child growing up in Minnesota, she developed a love for the lab. She would spend as much time as she could experimenting in her dad’s college laboratory. For her, science created a safe space and later became a career. She wanted to combine the heart and the hands when performing lab work and currently spends her days studying soil, seeds, flowers, and trees. She encourages her readers to cherish the environment and beautifully illustrates what it looks like when you genuinely love your work.
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
In 1942, Virginia Hall was the most dangerous of all Allied spies. Far from her days as a Baltimore socialite, she now had a target on her back. She was the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and created various spy networks throughout France. Despite her prosthetic leg and face visible on ‘Wanted’ posters everywhere, she refused to evacuate. Although she was able to escape, she was eventually caught, but not without a fight. This is the story of a woman who refused to give up, no matter what adversity or consequences she faced along the way.
Code Girls by Liza Mundy
When people think of the heroes of World War II, it’s often the soldiers or sailors who come to mind. However, the women behind the scenes were just as praiseworthy, even though they remained a secret for many years. Over ten thousand girls were recruited from premier colleges and small towns to serve as codebreakers. The war ended sooner because of these ladies, and several lives were saved. On top of that, this experience granted them access to jobs they otherwise wouldn’t have been considered for. Through research and interviews, the hard work of these code girls is finally getting recognition.
Self Made by A’Lelia Bundles
Sarah Breedlove had a rough start. She was orphaned at seven by parents who had been enslaved, then married at just fourteen, only to be widowed by the time she was twenty. For the next two decades, she worked as a washerwoman for $1.50 per week. But when she discovered a game-changing hair care product for black women, she started winning at life. She changed her name to Madam C. J. Walker and built a business from scratch. She defied all odds and became wildly successful, which was unheard of at the time. She was committed to making a difference and rightly left her mark on the world.
The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson
Jennifer was in sixth grade when she got ahold of her dad’s book titled The Double Helix. Although the book was not what she expected, she got so much more out of it than planned. She knew immediately that she would be a scientist and change the world by creating a tool that would easily edit DNA. An entirely new world of disease prevention was born by manipulating digital code and creating CRISPR. As Jennifer Doudna continued with this revolutionary project, her hard work paid off when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2020. This is an incredible story that is both fascinating and inspiring.
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie by Lauren Redniss
Marie was just 24 years old when she relocated to Paris from Warsaw. Her love of science led her to find work in Pierre Curie’s lab, but it ended up being him that she really fell for. It wasn’t long before the power couple was married and discovered two new elements for the periodic table, leading them to eventually win a Nobel Prize for their radioactive discovery. A few years later in 1906, Pierre tragically passed away, but Marie continued on, winning another Nobel Prize. But her days were also filled with controversy, and this book sheds some light on the intriguing life of the brilliant Marie Curie.