The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Melina Mangal
Illustrator: Luisa Uribe
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Year: 2018
ISBN: 9781512483758
Pages: 36

Ernest Everett Just was an avid observer. From his boyhood in the late 1800s, he loved to learn, read, and witness everything around him. He overcame multiple hardships early in life including sickness, family deaths, natural disasters, and racial discrimination. These taught him to press on and work hard for his education. At Dartmouth College, he found his passion in biology, later becoming a professor at Howard University researching egg cell development. In the end, his award-winning yet controversial ideas took him to Europe to study with world renowned scientists.

As the title suggests, this biography inspires a wonder of the world. The precise language and picturesque full-page illustrations transport the reader into Just’s life and the historical time period. Quotes from Ernest Everett Just, a timeline, a glossary, and sources are included at the back. The author and illustrator’s notes add more facts and explain additional research and inspiration used in compiling information. This book could be used as an exciting read-aloud, a nonfiction mentor text, or an introduction to an inquiry project. Despite setbacks and adversities, Ernest Everett Just inspires us to follow our curiosity and persevere.