|Caroline's comets : a true story
Author: McCully, Emily Arnold
Caroline Herschel was the first woman to discover a comet and the first woman to be paid as a scientist.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 187655
|Reading Counts Information:
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 70548
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/17)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
Booklist (+) (02/15/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/04/17)
The Hornbook (00/05/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 PreS-Gr 3—This picture book biography tells the story of Caroline Herschel, who became the first female professional scientist employed by George III. Readers learn of her childhood love of stargazing, the illnesses of her youth, and the struggles she faced as an unmarried woman attempting to earn a living. Expansive, hand-drawn illustrations enhance the text. Rich, starry nighttime spreads alternate with vividly colored scenes on a white background. The text is wonderfully accessible to younger audiences, but 18th-century culture is not directly explained and may need to be discussed with children while reading. Herschel's family's singular dependence on her as their scullery maid, for example, may recall "Cinderella" to the minds of some youngsters or prompt questions about the way Herschel's family treated her. Also note that the focus here is on Herschel's life rather than on what a comet is or why it is a significant find. Pairing this title with materials on comets, stars, and astronomy would provide solid scientific context for the study of space. Herschel and her brother William's foray into telescope building is a highlight of the volume, as it demonstrates the process of learning through scientific experimentation. The use of italicized first-person excerpts from Herschel's recollections works well here. VERDICT Purchase where early elementary—level science biographies are needed.—Sara White, Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, FL - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2017 *Starred Review* As a 10-year-old child in 1760, Caroline Herschel became ill, first with typhus, which stunted her growth, and then with smallpox, which scarred her face. Twelve years later, she left home to become a housekeeper for her older brother William in England, where he taught music and studied the stars. Becoming his “assistant-astronomer,” she helped him build a world-class telescope and recorded his observations and discoveries, which most notably included the planet Uranus. On her own, she discovered 14 nebulae and star clusters, two new galaxies, and, in 1786, her first of eight comets. Receiving a salary from the king, she became well-known in her own right. McCully calls her “the first professional woman scientist.” Most picture-book biographies record the significant events and achievements in their subjects’ lives, but this one goes a bit further. The concise text includes well-chosen details and quotes that help create a multifaceted personality on the page, while letting young readers know how limited the options were for an eighteenth-century woman and how close Herschel came to living her life in obscurity, knitting socks and scrubbing pans. The appealing illustrations—pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor washes—bring the historical settings to life. An engaging introduction to a notable woman in astronomy. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.