Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-- and the World

Headstrong is a collection of fifty-two short biographies of women scientists who are lesser known, but made significant contributions to science. We learn who these women were, their contribution to science, and how they got to the point where they made their contribution. The focus is on what they are best known for, as it is just a brief overview of each woman. The book only includes women whose life's work has been completed as a way to narrow the focus of the book.

As soon as I read the title of this book, I knew it was one I wanted to read. After reading the introduction, I was hooked. I love the idea that women in science should be judged on their work and not on their gender. I also liked the idea that we should be able to recall a woman scientist besides Marie Curie(not to diminish her achievements). The women included in this book are divided into the categories: Medicine, Biology and Environment, Genetics and Development, Physics, Earth and Stars, Math and Technology, and Invention. I liked that they were divided by field as it helped the flow of the book and with the author's thought that "instead of saying the Marie Curie of her field, say  a woman of that field who made a great contribution." I liked the set up of the book.

I think this is an important book for every one to read. Not only does it make us more aware of the significant contributions women have made in science, but it can provide roll models(particularly for women) in science. I was surprised by how many of these women I had never heard of. When I read the biography of Emilie Du Chatelet who lived 1706-1749 and whose contribution was in physics I was impressed with her work, but could not help but feel sad. Some of her peers cared more about her gender than the quality of her work. Emilie Du Chatelet provides a great example by not letting criticisms, more about her gender than her work stand. "She addressed each criticism while displaying her mastery over the subject." It reminded me of some of the recent twitter campaigns #DistractinglySexy #GirlsWithToys #ILookLikeAnEngineer to raise awareness of women in science,  and how they are treated. I admire both Du Chatelet and the women who participated in these twitter campaigns for standing up for themselves, but was a little disheartened that this is still an issue 300 years after Du Chatelet had to defend herself in a similar way. Perhaps this book and others like it can help with this issue.

I highly recommend reading this book. It provided a lot of interesting information in an easy to grasp way. I only wish there was more about some of the women. I would get very interested in someone, and their story would be over. It gave me some women I want to read more about. I read this book as an ebook on my Nook, and had no difficulties with it.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review**

*Receiving a free copy of the book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a book that I would not have gotten to as soon, or heard about otherwise.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Geronimo Stilton and The Search for Treasure

Geronimo Stilton finds himself back in the Kingdom of Fantasy. They need his help to fulfill the Ancient Gemstone Prophecy. He must find the Royal Sapphire and the Royal Ruby before the evil empress of the witches does. Geronimo meets new friends and they help him on his quest. He must travel in disguise if he is to beat the evil empress to the gemstones. Will Geronimo and his friends find the gemstones first?

I have not read all the books in the Kingdom of Fantasy series, but that did not prevent me from understanding what was going on. Each adventure is separate, and can be enjoyed as a stand alone book. There are references to previous adventures, but you do not need to have read the previous books to understand what is going on. It is another fun Geronimo adventure, with the typical puzzles and maps included. I think if you like the Geronimo Stilton books you will like this one too.

This was the thirteenth book the Bookworms read together. Alejandro picked this book for us to read. They both really like the Geronimo Stilton series, and are always trying to find one we all have not read yet. We all read the book, but only Alejandro and I discussed the book together. Here are his thoughts on the book. Warning! There may be some spoilers.

Q&A With The Bookworms Book Club

How many stars do you give the book?
Alejandro 5 stars

Did you like it?
Alejandro I liked that we met some new characters. This was one of my favorite Geronimo Stilton books.

Who was your favorite character?
Alejandro The Rose fairy. And the bird was weird.

There were some cool maps, where would you go?
Alejandro Gold Swamp and Garden Academy

Would you sail in a storm?
Alejandro Yes! To see what happens.

Geronimo is turned into a frog, would you like to be turned into one?
Alejandro Yes, I would like to be a frog. I could go places no one else could. I would want to control turning into a frog and turning human though.

Was Geronimo brave?
Alejandro No. He was shivering because he was scared.
Whitney: Can you be scared and brave?
Alejandro Yes. I think you can.
Whitney: I think it shows more bravery to do something when you are afraid.
Alejandro Yes. Because anyone can do it if they aren't afraid of it. It shows courage when you are scared to do it.

Geronimo has trouble knowing who to trust, who do you think he should trust?
Alejandro He should trust the Rider because he is a knight and they are suppose to be loyal. He shouldn't trust the coyote because you can never trust foxes and coyotes in stories.

Would you share with the old lady Geronimo encounters?
Alejandro No! What if she is a spy?

Geronimo has a focus finder that helps him find what he is looking for, what did you think of it? What would you look for with it?
Alejandro I thought it was really cool. I would find the lost city of Atlantis, Greek ruins, and maybe a part of Pangia that broke off and got lost in the ocean.

Thank you Paige and Alejandro for reading the book, and Alejandro for reviewing the book with me.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Justice: Volume 1

The Justice League Of America(JLA) is famous for uniting to save the world. They soon discover that the greatest criminal masterminds are also working together. Their plan, surprises the Justice League of America, as they are trying to achieve more good than the League, by targeting its members and actually using their abilities to benefit humanity.

I enjoyed the first volume in the Justice series. I liked looking at the villains in a new light. Poison Ivy makes the desert bloom with life, people are cured of disease, and new cities are created by the villains. Why would the Joker, Lex Luthor, Bizarro, and others use their powers in such a way? They have decided the JLA has failed humanity. They pose the question: why do hunger, poverty, and disease still exist if the JLA has so many superheroes and their abilities at their disposal? They create a world where the villains are the heroes, and the heroes are the terrorists working for their own ends. The superheroes must work to figure out what is behind the villains' benevolent actions before they are powerless to stop them.

I really liked the new perspective on these classic characters. It made for an intriguing plot and of course made me want to continue on to volume two. I am a huge fan of stories that focus on the villains of a story, so I liked seeing so many villains work together. It was difficult to know who to side with as I liked the new take on the villains and wanted them to succeed, but could not help wanting the heroes to find a way to win.

I liked that included in the book were brief Bios of the heroes and villains from the files in the Batcomputer. The heroes included in this volume are: Aquaman and Martian Manhunter.
The villains included are: Black Manta, Luthor, Riddler, Brainiac, Gorilla Grodd, Bizarro, Solomon Grundy, Metallo, and Parasite. It was a fun addition to the book, and lets you know a bit about some of the characters if you are not familiar with them.

I recommend reading Justice: Volume 1.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Week In The Woods

Mark has just moved, and is temporarily attending Hardy Elementary until his parents can get him into an exclusive prep school. So Mark is not taking his time at Hardy Elementary seriously, which gets him into trouble with Mr. Maxwell. Mark also does not understand what the big deal is with the annual Week in the Woods trip the school takes the fifth graders on. After he realizes he might be able to prove to Mr. Maxwell that he is not just another lazy rich kid, he is excited to go on the trip. After a misunderstanding on the trip, Mark puts himself and Mr. Maxwell in grave danger. They must work together if they are going to survive a week in the woods.

This is the twelfth book the Bookworms read together. Paige picked this book out for us to read. They had previously read Frindle by the same author, and liked it so much they wanted to read more of his books. I did not read this one with Paige and Alejandro, but joined in their discussion of the book. So the whole review will be from them this time.

Q&A With The Bookworms Book Club

How many stars out of 5 would you give this book?
Paige  5
Alejandro 4

Did you like the book?
Both: Yeah.

What was your favorite part?
Paige  I liked it all.
Alejandro I liked the end when Mark and the Science Teacher were in the forest.

What did you think of the teacher Mr. Maxwell?
Alejandro I thought he was a good teacher.
Paige  I thought he was nice, except when Mark made him mad.

What did you think of Mark?
Paige  He was a nice friend.
Alejandro I thought he was a smart aleck.

Mark was the new kid at school, what are some ways you could help someone who is new at school?
Alejandro Make friends with them.
Paige  Show them around and be nice to them.

What did you think of the rules on the trip?
Both: They were good rules.
Paige  The big rule was no knives.
Alejandro Even though they can be useful in the woods.

Would you go on a trip like a Week in the Woods?
Alejandro Yes. You could camp outside in a tent, and learn to set up a tent. And to hike.
Paige  I would go. It would be fun to learn to make a campfire.

If you could go on a trip anywhere, where would it be?
Paige An indoor swimming park.
Alejandro Chernobyl or Pompeii

Thank you Paige and Alejandro for reading and reviewing this book.