She Caught the Light

Williamina Stevens Fleming: Astronomer

Written by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Julianna Swaney

A curious child, Williamina “Mina” Fleming was fascinated with light and her father’s hobby of making photographs. But tragedy struck. Her father died when she was only seven years old. Later in life, as she sailed from Scotland to Boston with her new husband, he disappeared. Mina soon found out she was pregnant, in a new country and left on her own to raise her son. As if by divine intervention, she started cleaning house for an astronomy Professor at Harvard. She eventually became an astronomer in a time when women were discouraged from such pursuits. She classified over 10,000 stars, discovered a stellar nursery, and helped map out the universe. “She Caught the Light” is a beautiful biography picture book. Although the information is a bit technical and overly detailed at times, it is an inspiring and interesting story of a strong, intelligent woman, accustomed to adversity, who makes amazing contributions to the world of astronomy.

Reviewed by Heidi Reed, Media Clerk, Morningside Elementary
Review shared in April 2021
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 3-5

Teaching Guide

She Caught the Light
Written by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Julianna Swaney
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
40 pages
Release Date: January 19, 2021
ISBN: 9780062849304
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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