In this fascinating nonfiction picture book, children are introduced to Rosalind Franklin, who was born to Jewish parents in 1920 in London, England. From an early age, Rosalind was interested in studying nature. When she told her parents she wanted to be a scientist when she grew up, her father, mirroring the opinion of most people of his day, told her that girls couldn’t pursue that profession. Her mother, however, encouraged her and said, “Girls can do anything.”
Rosalind’s father, however, did allow his daughter to attend one of the few schools in London that taught science to girls. As Rosalind studied chemistry and solved math problems, she “never gave up until she had the solution. Rosalind always took a closer look.” Her habits of persistence, curiosity, and always taking a closer look became the pattern of her adult life as she worked in a government lab researching the use of carbons and coals in gas masks; began her DNA research and took her most famous photo of DNA; and conducted research on plant viruses and found their structure to be similar to viruses in humans, like the polio virus.
Author Lisa Gerin points out that, regrettably, “Rosalind got the very first data showing the structure of DNA but did not receive the credit. The world refused to recognize that a woman had made this discovery.”
Illustrator Chiara Fedele’s pensive artwork and Gerin’s compassionate narrative merge to capture the thoughtful, meticulous world of a girl growing into her passion to be a scientist, of a young woman dealing with the disillusionment of not being taken seriously because she is a female, and of a passionate scientist continuing to take a closer look despite obstacles put in her path. (Beaming Books)