Friday, November 11, 2016

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs

Title: Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
Author: Sam Maggs
Publisher: Quirk Books 
Format: Hardcover
Source: Netgalley eBook / Purchased Hardcover
Publishing Date: October 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 240

Synopsis from the publisher:

A fun and feminist look at forgotten women in science, technology, and beyond, from the bestselling author of THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
You may think you know women’s history pretty well. But have you ever heard of. . .
  • Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?
  • Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit?
  • Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China—centuries before the cotton gin?
Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors. Plus, interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the future.


Sam Maggs has been one of my favourite Canadian bookish people since I read her book The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks. I fell in love with the book because it talked about all the nerdy things I secretly (and sometimes not so secretly love). You can check out my review for that book here

Wonder Women gives readers a glimpse into the lives of some really kick-ass women who have each made a huge imprint on the world. I began reading this book slightly embarrassed, of the women mentioned, I had only heard of a couple. I guess, that was Sam's point! The contribution of women in the areas focused on in this book: Science, Technology, Espionage, Medicine, Innovation and Adventure have been down played (or non existent) in the history books taught in schools. 

Have you ever heard of Wang Zhenyi? She was a Chinese Astronomer, Mathematician, and poet.

Though she lived to only twenty-nine years old, she achieved over 300,000% of an average human's scientific accomplishments and left the world a better and smarter place, all whie advancing the position of women in eighteenth-century China" p18

The pages are filled with detailed accounts of women defying their boundaries to make a difference in the world. Each biography provides spurts of inspiration to readers regardless of gender. 

Sam Maggs also brings light to current day women excelling in their fields through Q&A's at the end of each chapter. Working with in the digital space and being a daily user of Slack, her interview with Erica Baker appealed to me the most. Readers should also take note of the Appendix which lists different websites and organizations which can help inspire readers to becoming Wonder Women.

Wonder Women is a MUST read. The names of the women in her book may not sound familiar, but their accomplishments and innovations likely will. We should not let their contributions go unnoticed any longer. 

For those who have read it, I'd love to hear about which woman/women inspired you the most.

I received an advanced digital galley of Wonder Women by Sam Maggs from the publisher. Opinions are my own.


  1. This one sounds like such a good read. I love non-fiction but admit that this year I haven't read as much as I would have liked in the genre. I love the title for the book to. Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

    1. It was an extremely eye opening read to learn about all of these women who unknowingly shaped STEM. I hope you enjoy it!


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