Women Who Led the Way: Great Explorers and Adventurers

by Mick Manning (Author) Brita Granström (Illustrator)

Women Who Led the Way: Great Explorers and Adventurers
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
From a wide range of historical periods (the 9th century to the present) and countries, this book reveals 33 intrepid women who broke the boundaries of society as well as geography in order to explore places, peoples and customs. Some of them took up personal challenges, like climbing the world's highest mountains or crossing oceans and deserts; others have joined space programs or pursued scientific research. Some were seeking new places to live. All were and are pioneers. While some are world-famous, others deserve to be better-known. Among them are Jeanne Baret (France), first woman to circumnavigate the globe; Amelia Earhart (USA) pioneer pilot; Junko Tabei (Japan) first woman to climb Everest; Aud 'the Deep-Minded' (Scandinavia), leader of settlement in Iceland; Mae Carol Jemison (USA), first black woman in space; Mary Anning (England), fossil discoverer; Sylvia Earle (USA), underwater explorer and ocean conservation campaigner; Arunima Sinha (India), first female amputee to climb Mount Everest.
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School Library Journal

Gr 4-7—The notion that a woman's age, ethnicity, education, financial circumstances, or nationality does not define her abilities or passions is the theme of this delightfully illustrated book. The women's narratives are told in chronological order starting with Aud the Deep-Minded, a ninth-century Scottish-Irish grandmother who was an early voyager to Iceland. The last person featured is Arunima Sinha from India; born in 1988, she is the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest. Manning showcases these explorers and adventurers by recreating their stories in short, first-person conversational narratives. Each spread includes the woman's birth and death dates, noted accomplishments, and nationality. Action-packed illustrations include a speech bubble quote which gives the book a graphic novel vibe. Over a third of the women featured were noted for their pioneering endeavors in the sciences, including early astronomer Caroline Herschel and astronaut Mae Jemison. Sidebars contain either fascinating facts concerning the featured women or introduce a similar noteworthy trailblazer. Back matter includes a glossary. VERDICT Library collections and STEM programs would benefit from this book's age-appropriate blending of biography with diversity, history, geography, and social commentary.—Lynne Stover

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Library collections and STEM programs would benefit from this book's age-appropriate blending of biography with diversity, history, geography, and social commentary" — School Library Journal
Mick Manning
Mick Manning and Brita Granström have developed a unique and highly successful approach to non-fiction picture books, with illustrations and text that bring the young reader right into events. Their many awards include the Smarties Silver Award, the English Association Award (four times), and the Royal Society Young People's Book Award. Their most recent book is The History of Prehistory, published by Otter-Barry Books.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Otter-Barry Books
Publication date
July 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
JNF025080 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | Exploration & Discovery
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Adventure and adventurers
Women explorers
Women adventurers

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