Finding Wonders by Jeannine Harris is a fictional children’s book based on three real girls, Maria Sibylla Merian, Mary Anning, and Maria Mitchell, who made scientific contributions. Told with poems, each girl’s story begins with her childhood. Each girl learned to look beyond what other people took for granted or mistrusted. Each girl overcame the biases and challenges of her time for the sake of learning. These stories are an inspiration to anyone who has ever wanted to try something new despite the people around them. These girls were told they could not, should not, and would not, but they did anyway.
Genre: Children’s historical fiction
Setting: 1600s Germany, Amsterdam, and Suriname, 1800s England, 1800s Massachusetts
Number of pages: 195
Objectionable content? Several characters die, both adults and children, and religion is portrayed in a negative manner in some parts of the book.
Can children read this? Yes. This book is well-suited for elementary school children and up.
Themes: Learning, independent women, science, curiosity, restrictions
Rating: Five stars