This review does not contain spoilers.
I received Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science in the December box from The YA Chronicles. The first thing that caught my attention was the ridiculously beautiful cover design.
I knew that the book of the month was going to be written in verse and that made me a bit nervous because, as far as I can remember, I’ve never read a book entirely in verse before. I didn’t even know what to expect.
But I loved it.
The writing is simple but evocative—possibly more of a middle-grade book than a Young Adult read but it was perfect as an introduction to verse. I was also really pleased to note that there was a distinct change in tone for each main character.
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was a botanical artist who observed live insects and discovered the stages of metamorphosis.
Mary Anning (1799-1847) was an English fossil collector and paleontologist who made major discoveries in the Dorset when she was just 12 years old.
Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer who discovered a comet that was named in her honour (Miss Mitchell’s Comet).
All three of these women made important contributions to science and I knew absolutely nothing about them before picking up the book. The way Jeannine Atkins brings their discoveries to life fascinated me. In a short space of time, I developed a strong affection for each of the characters and hated having to leave them when their stories were finished.
If it hadn’t been for The YA Chronicles, I probably never would’ve picked up this book. Now I’m recommending it left, right and centre. I’m so glad I gave it a chance—after this experience, I definitely won’t shy away from books written in verse in the future.