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Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,992 ratings  ·  429 reviews
You may think you know women’s history pretty well, but have you ever heard of. . .

· Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?

· Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit?

· Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revoluti
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Quirk Books (first published October 4th 2016)
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Hannah The latter. Each story opens with a picture of the woman, but it's otherwise just text. …moreThe latter. Each story opens with a picture of the woman, but it's otherwise just text. (less)

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this is like if tumblr circa 2011 wrote a book. and god help us if tumblr circa 2011 ever gains the sentience to do something like that.

all of the language in this is extreme Tryhard Quirky Internet Slang, and it's grueling. also, grating. also, trivializes the incredible work of 25 women who suffered and struggled to make a difference in one way or another.

and like...if it trivializes the work of the women it's supposed to be upholding and praising...what is the goddamn point, pray tell?
Steve Sarner
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First, the bad news, of the 25 featured women in this book I knew of only one – Bessie Coleman. And of the total 67 women included in the book, each a hero in her own right, I had heard of only 4 others prior to reading Wonder Women (Marie Curie, Grace Hooper, Erica Baker and Amelia Earhart). Just 7% - miserable.

I’m no historian but I do read a fair amount of history so I was surprised at my dismal results with knowing so few of these names and their major impact on society and history.

I guess
Please Pass the Books
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
I read this and then passed it to my thirteen-year old daughter who read it right after me. This is a combination review from both of us: myself on content, hers on its delivery.

I'm always intrigued by books that celebrate women. As a mother who loves to read, when I come across something that could be empowering to my young daughter, that intrigue intensifies. I loved that Maggs put forward many women who aren't very well known (or, frankly, who aren't known at all) in Wonder Women.

Sadly, all o
Kate (GirlReading)
4.5* A book sharing the stories and lives of a diverse group of amazing, badass and ridiculously smart women, what’s not to love? This put a smile on my face on numerous occasions, whether that be because of the amazing things these women conquered or because of the kickass things they did and said to conquer them. The structure of the book made for a quick and easy read I could dip in and out of with I really enjoyed. I adored reading about each and everyone of these awesome women and have alre ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: History, feminism, science, engineering, spies.

This book took me a long time to read. Not because I didn't want to pick it up, but because each time I read about another of the extraordinary women I ended up lost in research, because I wanted to know more.

I would say that this is quite a quirky book. I loved the care and attention that went in to the design, the illustrations, the quotations. I loved the almost dry, sarcastic tone.
Taylor Knight
Prior to reading this book, I'd only heard of a couple of the women mentioned (Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart). I might not have paid attention to lot of my history classes in school but I would have remembered these women if I had been taught about what they've done for the world.
The fact that so many of women's impact on history has been throw aside and disregarded upsets me so much. But thanks to Sam Maggs, we can educate ourselves on some of the women that changed the world. Sam clearly did
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read a fair few of these biography compilations, and this is one of the best. The full-lengthy biographies are of women who will likely be new to most readers (I'd only heard of a handful of them before myself) and the more obvious names like Marie Curie and Nellie Bly are instead covered in the short, one-paragraph bios at the end of each chapter. Each chapter also features an interview with a woman currently working in the field spotlighted in that chapter. Maggs went out of her way to sh ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

YES YES YES SO MUCH YES TO THIS BOOK. I've been waiting for this basically ever since I read my e-galley of Sam Maggs's first book "The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy" because I loved how feminist and awesome that was and so I could not wait for her to release something else. And I was NOT disappointed by this.
In this book, Sam Maggs tells us about different women throughout history from all around the wo
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
Sam Meggs’ Wonder Women takes a look at many women throughout history that have had their accomplishments either long since buried or stolen by a member of the opposite sex. Twenty-five women are featured - with an additional forty-two in blurbs - in the categories of science, engineering, mathematics, adventuring, and inventions. Each mini-biography is written with equal parts snark and research and while Meggs tries to keep things light through her conversational tone, it’s disheartening to he ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, 2016, set-aside, ya
While I was very interested in this topic, the writing style defeated me. This is marketed as an adult book, but I think it would be more appealing to teens -- breezy, informal, and full of exclamations. I appreciate that the author is trying to make history more accessible to a generation that finds history a deadly dull subject; I am just not the target audience.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't know many of the women featured in this book & I'm deeply ashamed.
Chasia Lloyd
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was the most fun I've ever had reading about women in STEM fields (and espionage - is that STEM?).

Sam Maggs takes women who are missing from most history books and tells their stories, highlighting their achievements and punching up the narrative with witty, sarcastic humor. Admirable women of all races, sexualities, backgrounds, and time periods are covered. Maggs is quick to point out the problematic elements of some women's stories (nobody's perfect) while still gushing over their brains
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love all the women in this book, and they are all heroes. And that is so many more heroes than I knew existed before. And I want to learn more! I’m also so mad for these women who often did not get the credit they deserved, their contributions frequently claimed by men, or even just sold to white guys because the women of color believed society would not accept their work if they knew who it was from. This books opens up so many doors to role models and each woman featured deserves an entire b ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
Such an interesting read. I'd heard of exactly 1 of the 25 featured women, and I didn't know much about her, so I learnt a LOT from this book. Not much else to say except that it is fascinating and everyone should read it! ...more
I really loved the author's engaging writing style. She presented each of the women's stories in such a unique and fun way. It saddens me that out of the 67 women mentioned, I had only heard of 12 of them. What a shame so many remarkable women are virtually unknown! I'm so glad I picked this book up. This is an important and needed book and I will definitely be recommending it whenever I can. ...more
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic short articles/essays about amazing women from all over the world. This is one of those books where you constantly say "Hey, did you know that . . . ." The style and tone of the book was very fun and contemporary -- made this an engaging read for all ages. Great first read for the new year. ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of short biographies of some very impressive women. I really love reading inspirational stories of women who beat the odds and become very successful at what they love to do (and even more so if they succeed in predominantly male areas), so I should have loved this book. Yet, l'm a bit disappointed.

The tone of this book is very colloquial. That is not a bad thing per se, but the author tried to find "that sweet spot somewhere between textbook and Tumblr", which is not
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ladies need real inspiration for the next time we find ourselves doubting our ability to invent something, the next time we fear learning how to code, the next time we feel like we just don't belong.

I know I'm in trouble writing a review when my bookmarks get into the third page.

I reviewed Sam Maggs' first book, The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy, and fell pretty hardcore for her. She's snarky and funny, and while I understand other reviewer's complaints about her writing style, I don't mind it a
Shyames || Prosciutto through life
Wow. It should definitely be translated into every language on Earth and added to school's curriculum. Especially fragments when it clearly says how men used to stole women inventions and patent them as their own...
I fell in love with this book from the beginning but it completely stole my heart with those lines:
"Ginko was born to the Ogino family in 1851, just two years before the start of the Meiji Restoration (aka a time when white folks showed up and started ordering Japanese people around,
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-ficton, women
Yay women!

Here's to all the women who have gone against what society thinks is "proper" and gave a big screw you to men that tried to hold them back. Not only did they stand up for themselves, fought for what was right, but, oh yeah, ended up changing the world.

What!? I didn't know women could do all that!*
Mainly because, sadly, I had never heard of these women.

If any mention of these women is made in history books it's probably on a sidebar that no one is actually reading. I must say I find it
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you ever wanted to learn about some awesome women whose accomplishments have been mostly lost to history, you'll want to pick up Wonder Women. I had heard of very few of the women profiled in this book (and none of the main 25 women) though their accomplishments in math, science, espionage, the arts, and more are some that we talk about all the time.
Do you know who really invented the cotton gin? Or who made production of the paper bags we use every day more efficient? Which woman had a Nobe
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-2016
The author uses a very direct, young, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes funny tone. But, she gets the point across. After reading the book, I am feeling ashamed that I did not do anything groundbreaking so far, worrying about false ceilings. Imagine, how much it will affect the girls or young women of today, if they read this book at the beginning of their lives. The book shows that there is absolutely nothing that can stop you if you are determined. Many of the women featured have fought tooth and ...more
Grace Troxel
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:

Wonder Women by Sam Maggs is a collection of vignettes of inspirational women in science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM). The book is divided into 5 main sections: Women of Science, Women of Medicine, Women of Espionage, Women of Invention, Women of Innovation, and Women of Adventure. These sections are interspersed with interviews from current female scientists, providing
Nino Fray
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Review originally posted on my book blog:

Wonder Women is one of those stories that fill you up with courage and strength. It's the kind of story that will make you believe that you can do anything.

Wonder Women is a book about a lot of women who weren't afraid to demonstrate their intelligence. Women who were creating and discovering things even when they weren't receiving credit for their work.I think this is a powerful novel that every single person in
A very enjoyable and engaging feminist read tackling the representation and lack of visibility of women in STEM (Science-technology-engineering-mathematics). Accompanied by lovely illustrations by Sophia Foster-Dimino (and it's so refreshing to see a 0% sexualized all-woman set of illustrations with expressions ranging from serious-concentrated, to assertive, happy, challenging and determined :D!), the book explores a selection of women in the fields of science and mathematics, medicine, espiona ...more
I'm not sure how to rate this. It's a great overview of awesome women (most of whom I hadn't heard of) but the style/tone is SO ANNOYING AND COY and full of dumb jokes that I am overwhelmed with irritation. ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Review Not on Blog)

I am loving these kind of books that showcase women in the past that have changed and made history. It is great seeing women be successful and inspire women of today.
Shannon Brown
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was awesome. An easy read to dip in and out of and a fun way to learn more about some kickass ladies that I hadn't known much about - or at all - before. ...more
THIS BOOK! This was such a great choice for Women's History Month. It's a witty, diverse, and delightful read. I highly recommend it. ...more
Yana Tretyakova
Inspiring, powerful and hilarious. You should read it)
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SAM MAGGS is a bestselling writer of books, comics, and video games, including Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, The Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope, Tell No Tales, Con Quest!, and Marvel's Spider-Man PS4. A Canadian in Los Angeles, she misses Coffee Crisp and bagged milk. Visit her online at or @SamMaggs! ...more

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