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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you heard of Caroline Herschel? Or, for that matter, what about Maryam Mirzakhani, or Maria Ylagan-Orosa? If you haven’t heard of these outstanding women, you’re not alone. However, perhaps you (and I and all other females) should take a closer look at what these women are doing, or have done, to make our world a better place, to show that being female doesn’t mean being inferior. For example, Caroline Herschel was a German astronomer and the first woman to discover a comet; Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematics professor who became the first woman and the first Iranian to win the prestigious mathematics award, the Fields Medal; Maria Ylagan-Orosa was a food chemist and war heroine in the Philippines. Strong, independent, clever and creative, women throughout history have made their mark and continue to do so. It is past time we recognized all of these amazing achievements.
Zoe Yu’s book, Our Era is Now: 14 Remarkable Women Who Rewrote History, is an empowering look at amazing women from around the world. The author has chosen women from all avenues of excellence: the arts, medicine, science and so much more. The book begins with a strong narrative, summing up the wonders of female achievements and how important it is to recognize them. Then she introduces 14 remarkable women and gives a brief account of their amazing accomplishments. She provides a short summary at the end, emphasizing that “There’s no limit to what girls are capable of achieving.” As well, she includes a concise glossary of terms because the narrative does include a number of complicated words for young readers, like stereotype, activist, and discrimination. The illustrations are bold and effective. I believe this is an important contribution to the education of young women, to encourage them to seek excellence in all that they do. Well done!