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The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell book cover

The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell

By Laura Alary, Illustrated by Ellen Rooney. Kids Can Press, 2022. 36 pages, $21.99.
Stephanie Bozz

The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything is a powerful story and an inspiring biography. Through this book, readers are given a brief glimpse into the life of Maria Mitchell, who broke down barriers and paved the way for women in roles that were historically dominated by men. Author Laura Alary describes how Mitchell’s passion for mathematics and science allowed her to make major contributions to these fields, especially in astronomy.

This book would be an asset to any Primary or Junior classroom as it can be used in a variety of curricular areas, particularly mathematics, science and technology, and social studies. Educators can use Maria Mitchell as an example to show students that these curricular areas involve a lot of questioning and exploring and that when it comes to their studies, they should feel comfortable putting their questions forward, taking risks and making discoveries. Additionally, these areas of study encourage students to generate ideas and communicate their thoughts about the world around them and offer opportunities for hands-on learning and building on inquiries.

The book can also be used to generate interest in STEM/STEAM related fields. Students may want to learn more about scholarly programs and occupations that involve these areas of study after reading about Maria.

As a Primary teacher, I give this book a five-star review. I truly feel that this story will resonate with students. The book is a great example of a historical timeline and provides beautiful pictures to go along with the story. It would also be a great resource to use during Women’s History Month.

Stephanie Bozz is a member of the Halton Teacher Local.