Biography, STEM

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom By Teresa Robeson

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Back of Book:

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, most girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Giving her a name meaning “Courageous Hero,” they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism and racism to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on beta decay. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honors.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Press in exchange for an honest review. 

This inspirational biography follows the life and work of Wu Chien Shiun who would be labeled Queen of Physics for her groundbreaking research in science. The book begins with Chien Shiung from her childhood in China. China did not promote the education of young girls. So Chien Shiung’s parents created a school for girls so she could learn. Chien Shiung excelled in all academics and continued her education far from home. As she grew, she also became a voice for her people. She led marches and protests against the government. Chien Shiung focused her main work on the study of the mutation of beta decay. Although H\her experiments on beta decay and parity were groundbreaking, her male colleagues win Nobel prizes. 

Wu Chien Shung did not allow racial prejudice or gender bias to affect how she did her research or her job. She bravely broke stereotypes and went on to do amazing things with her career. 

 Debut author Teresa Robeson did an exceptional of showcasing the struggles and highlights of Wu Chien Shiung’s life and career. The illustrations by Rebecca Huang are expressive and detailed. The back of the book has more information about Wu Chien Shiung as well as a glossary of scientific terms and definitions. 

This is a wonderful story that celebrates an unknown woman in STEM and her contributions to the world. 

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages 

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