Get our latest staff recommendations, award news and digital catalog links right to your inbox.
Girls Who Loved Math
Table of Contents
About The Book
Learn about seven groundbreaking women in math and science in this gorgeously written biographical novel-in-verse, a companion to the “original and memorable” (Booklist, starred review) Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science.
After a childhood spent looking up at the stars, Caroline Herschel was the first woman to discover a comet and to earn a salary for scientific research. Florence Nightingale was a trailblazing nurse whose work reformed hospitals and one of the founders of the field of medical statistics. The first female electrical engineer, Hertha Marks Ayrton registered twenty-six patents for her inventions.
Marie Tharp helped create the first map of the entire ocean floor, which helped scientists understand our subaquatic world and suggested how the continents shifted. A mathematical prodigy, Katherine Johnson calculated trajectories and launch windows for many NASA projects including the Apollo 11 mission. Edna Lee Paisano, a citizen of the Nez Perce Nation, was the first Native American to work full time for the Census Bureau, overseeing a large increase in American Indian and Alaskan Native representation. And Vera Rubin studied more than two hundred galaxies and found the first strong evidence for dark matter.
Told in vibrant, evocative poems, this stunning novel celebrates seven remarkable women who used math as their key to explore the mysteries of the universe and grew up to do innovative work that changed the world.
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (August 4, 2020)
- Length: 320 pages
- ISBN13: 9781534460683
- Grades: 5 and up
- Ages: 10 - 99
- Lexile ® 960L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
Browse Related Books
Raves and Reviews
"Presented chronologically in engaging verse with a feminist tone, the text artfully weaves scientific data and history with imagined 'dialogue and sensory detail based on what’s known about the time, places, and questions' of these remarkable math mavens. . . . Thoroughly researched, creatively presented, inspiring real-life role models for girls who love math."
– Kirkus Reviews
“Written in free verse, the text is welcoming, informative, pithy, wry, very readable, and occasionally haunting. . . A heartening celebration of mathematically gifted women.”
"Although longer biographical works are seldom grist for readalouds, Atkins’ respect for the particularities of each life manifests in the image-rich poetry that recommends itself to oral presentation. . . This is a must-buy for STEAM collections."
"Astute and richly detailed, Atkins’s free-verse biographies address head-on the challenges . . . that these passionate and determined trailblazers overcame.”
– Horn Book Magazine
Awards and Honors
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Junior Title
- Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title
- NCTE Notable Verse Novel List
- ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List Selection
- Mathical Book Prize
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): Grasping Mysteries Hardcover 9781534460683
- Author Photo (jpg): Jeannine Atkins Photo courtesy of author(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
More to Explore
Our Summer Reading Recommendations
Red-hot romances, poolside fiction, and blockbuster picks, oh my! Start reading the hottest books of the summer.
This Month's New Releases
From heart-pounding thrillers to poignant memoirs and everything in between, check out what's new this month.