Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Robert Burleigh
Illustrator: Raul Colon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Henrietta Leavitt has been amazed by the stars ever since she was a little girl staring into the night sky. She was one of the only women in astronomy class, but she got a job with other women recording data in an observatory. During her free time, Henrietta studied the photographs of stars taken at the observatory. After a long time, she saw a pattern in stars that glowed and dimmed. Her discovery helped astronomers to know the true brightness of stars and be able to calculate their distance. Henrietta's contributions led astronomers to discover the vastness of the Milky Way and find even more galaxies.
This book is an encouraging biography written at just the right level for elementary aged readers to listen to when the text is read aloud. The emphasis on perseverance and the fact that even tiny discoveries can make a huge impact is a great lesson for children to learn, especially in encouraging little girls to enter into STEM fields. The last few pages of the book contain more factual biographical information on Henrietta Leavitt and other women astronomers and their impact on the field. Along with a great illustrations, this is a great nonfiction historical text that will hold the interest of young readers.