Hello Again Readers! This past summer, my journey through the many worlds on my bookshelf had me step into the interesting and adventurous land of non-fiction. Today we will be looking at the new book from Sam Maggs, Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors and Trailblazers Who Changed History. I really enjoyed Sam Maggs’ first book, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: a handbook for Girl Geeks. So I was very eager to check out her newest work on bad-ass ladies throughout time by Quirk Books. This book discusses real women with real struggles working to make their dreams become reality, throughout the different eras and ages of history. Let’s dive into the fascinating lives of Wonder Women.
Within this book, Sam Maggs takes readers through the lives of 25 extraordinary women who affected the world with their many different talents, skills, dreams, ambitions, discoveries and creations. The book is divided into five sections: Women of Science, Women of Medicine, Women of Espionage, Women of Innovation, and Women of Adventure. The life, struggles, accomplishments and triumphs of five amazing women within each specific category are highlighted and showcased. At the end of each chapter, Sam also gives the reader a little write up about other women who worked in the same field. She also includes brief interviews with career women in each corresponding section, exploring how they got inspired or interested in their field, what difficulties they had to overcome, the specifics of their work and what advice they would give young girls interested in partaking in a similar career path.
This book was fantastic to read. As stated above, I really enjoyed Sam Maggs’ first book for it’s humour, breakdown of information, interviews and lighthearted, easy to read commentary. I found that Wonder Women shared the same writing style and devices. The layout throughout this book is perfect. You get a thorough explanation and breakdown of each woman’s astonishing life and successes that is straight-forward and packed with interesting information. Sam Maggs’ hilarious comments, asides and winks at the reader are fun and make for a lovely reading experience. The research about each woman’s life and accomplishments were presented in a way that was not boring like mandatory homework, but more like listening to a friend geek out over someone they admire. It was refreshing and highly entertaining to learn about many different, intelligent, talented women who I had never heard about before.
This book is great not only for young girls, but anyone with dreams or aspirations to discover, invent and create in the different worlds of science, art, literature, mathematics and adventure. Learning about the different aspects of the multiple fields of study, ground breaking inventions and discoveries as well as the different setbacks, injustices and complications each woman experienced, made for a very relatable and realistic read. These women not only come across as real people trying to make a difference in the world, but were presented in a way that young girls could identify with, as well as aspire to be like. Very positive reading for any dreamer, artist, inventor or adventure seeker.
My favourite women discussed in this book were: Ogino Ginko, Miriam Benjamin and Sarah Emma Edmonds. I loved learning so much about these three woman and how they would stop at nothing to accomplish their dreams. I was impressed with Ogino Ginko for her strength in paving the way for women to become doctors in Japan. I rallied behind Miriam Benjamin reading about her challenges inventing the Gong and Signal chair, as well as advocating for justice. And I felt a connection with Sarah Emma Edmonds. She was my favourite to read about not just because she was a bad-ass Canadian soldier and spy or that we share the same first name, but because she felt encouraged to have a life full of adventure and excitement through her love of books. I particularly love that she was inspired to take action and control of her life after reading about an awesome British Lady pirate. For those who don’t know, I’m obsessed with both Britain and pirates. After reading Sarah Emma Edmonds’s amazing story, I feel that if I was around in the late 1800’s, we would have been best friends.
The illustrations and designs by Sophia Foster-Dimino and Andie Reid were beautiful and captivating. Seeing these amazing women’s portraits at the start of each story gave me more insight into who they were. The details of their person as well as the objects around them, gave a good mental image of their individual personalities while reading about their accomplishments. The front cover was brilliantly designed with enchanting colours that entice and excite the reader.
If you are looking for an entertaining and educational novel about real women creating, inventing, discovering, exploring and breaking barriers to make the world a better place, then this is the book for you. This book is filled with great role-models that not only stood up against injustice, but also faced adversity to make their dreams come true and pave the way for others to do the same. I recommend Sam Maggs’ Wonder Women (available October 18th from Quirk Books) to anyone who is interested in learning about fantastic, strong women who contributed to and changed the world.
If you are gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!