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Look up!
Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer
Robert Burleigh
Illustrated by Raul Colon

Simon & Schuster
Feb 2013 / ISBN 9781416958192
Children / Biography / Astronomy
/ 1800s

Reviewed by Bob Walch

 Living at a time when few women were enrolled in astronomy classes, Henrietta Leavitt was determined to pursue her interest in studying the stars.

After college she went to work in an observatory but she was assigned menial tasks such as recording data and doing measurements.

Rather than think, Henrietta was expected to just perform the tasks she was assigned. In her spare time, the young woman kept studying and seeking answers to some of the questions about the heavens that she formulated. Thanks to her intellect, curiosity and persistence, Henrietta helped unlock some of the secrets the heavens held.

This picture book focuses attention on a woman who, while still largely unrecognized for her important work, opened the door for more women in the field of astronomy. Besides basing this tale on Henrietta Leavitt’s story, the author also includes a brief  biography of the astronomer who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s, plus he mentions some other women who made important discoveries in the field.   

This would be an ideal book to use with young children four years or age and older to open the door to some of the wonders of astronomy. Use Leavitt’s story to pique the child’s interest and perhaps launch a more detailed study of  the stars.

Reviewed 2013