Tag Archives: role of women

Breaking through the glass ceiling

8 Apr


Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh is a picture book biography of the eponymous Marie Tharp, a woman who, at  a time when the glass ceiling for women was very low, worked hard to find her place in the world of science and cartography.

Publisher’s Summary: Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.

Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try.

Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle.

Despite past failures and challenges—sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was “bad luck”—Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home.

Award-winning author Robert Burleigh tells her story of imagination and perseverance. Beautifully illustrated by Raúl Colón, Look Up! is a book that will inspire readers to follow their dreams.

Women at War

28 Jun

WWI changed society in a myriad of ways, one of which was the role of women. This video, And We Knew How to Dance: Women in WWI


by the National Film Board of Canada  shows how Canadian women aided the war effort. It’s World War I, and many of the country’s men have gone into battle. Twelve Canadian women, aged 86 to 101, recall their entry into what had been a male world of munitions factories and farm labour. Their commitment and determination helped lead the way to postwar social changes for women.

And this book,



tells the story of approximately 100 nurses who were captured during the Japanese attack on the Philippines, which happened only 9 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Mary Cronk Farrell’s Pure Grit is the story of how those nurses not only survived, but also how they continued to care for the sick and wounded with dwindling medical supplies and food. Over the course of their three years in captivity, the nurses lost weight because of the starvation-level rations they were given. some developed beriberi, others dengue fever and/or bouts of malaria and tuberculosis. Cronk uses interviews and lots of primary source material to create a highly readable and fascinating book that sheds light on an aspect of war that is still rather unknown.

Backmatter includes a glossary, list of nurses, timeline, endnotes, bibliography, websites, and an index.

Cronk also provides a teacher’s guide on  her website.

This is an excellent addition to any library or classroom in which World War 2 is taught.



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