Monday, April 2, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Rasco From RIF.

My selection is "Annie Jump Cannon, astronomer" written by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Christina Wald.

Pioneering astronomer, Annie Jump Cannon was born during the Civil War and spent her youth stargazing.  It was a fascination that would shape her life.  After graduating from Wellesley College, she did graduate work and eventually was hired by Edward Pickering to work at the Harvard Observatory cataloging stars. She faced a series of challenges: a bout of scarlet fever that left her nearly deaf and gender discrimination at work.  She wasn't permitted to work alongside the men and was paid one fourth of their salary. Never-the-less, she succeeded in identifying more stars than anyone else and is credited with devising a classification system that is still in use today.

Gerber provides readers with a thoughtful discussion of Cannon's life and a clear understanding of the science set against the attitudes and atmosphere of her time. 

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