|Maryam's magic : the story of mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani|
Author: Reid, Megan
The first picture book about the trailblazing mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman and Iranian to win the world's most prestigious honor in mathematics.
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/20)
School Library Journal (12/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 K-Gr 3—This biography of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2017) will appeal to kids who struggle with math. Mirzakhani will also serve as a role model for young girls who want to compete in a traditionally male-dominated arena. Young Mirzakhani loved storytelling and grew up in a culture with strict gender roles. During the war, girls and women weren't allowed to go to school with boys, if they were permitted to attend at all. Mirzakhani, who became the first woman (and the first Iranian) to win the Fields Medal, was a pioneer in her field. As a young student, she used her natural storying talent to overcome her aversion to math by bridging the gap between words and numbers. Geometry became her entry point into mathematics. The many shapes she encountered reminded her of fictional characters in her favorite books, and she made up endless stories about them. Young readers will want to know how Mirzakhani used art to solve equations; the fact that this is not fully explained in the text is a bit of a drawback. However, the idea of merging art and math is welcome in this picture book. Jaleel's bright, realistic illustrations capture the setting and style of dress in Mirzakhani's homeland. Mirzakhani is drawn with light skin. A later scene at Harvard University depicts students with light skin and different shades of brown skin. VERDICT An inspiring life story and worthwhile addition for any library looking to enhance its collection of STEAM titles or biographies of noteworthy women from the Middle East.—Gloria Koster, formerly at West Sch., New Canaan, CT - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2020 Growing up in Tehran, Iran, Maryam Mirzakhani loved telling stories and drawing intricate pictures. She hoped to become a writer and enjoyed reading and art classes at school. But math? It seemed pointless and boring until, when she was 12, a teacher captured her imagination with geometry and inspired her to excel. In 1995, 18-year-old Maryam entered the International Mathematical Olympiad and won with a perfect score. Dedicating herself to math as a career, she delved into complex areas of geometry and, in 2014, became the first woman and first Iranian to win the prestigious Fields Medal for outstanding achievement in mathematics. At the time, few were aware that she had cancer. She died in 2017. In the book, Mirzakhani reflects that as a child, she “nearly gave up on” math, but ultimately, she found it fascinating. In the well-knit text, Reid repeatedly refers to Mirzakhani as a storyteller and artist, recognizing the value of imagination in her work. Jaleel’s pleasing digital illustrations feature clean lines, rich, vivid colors, and expressive faces. A rewarding picture-book biography.Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.