Cover image for The sky's the limit : stories of discovery by women and girls
The sky's the limit : stories of discovery by women and girls
Thimmesh, Catherine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Physical Description:
73 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Presents brief accounts of the work of a variety of women scientists in such fields as astronomy, biology, anthropology, and medicine.
To obtain knowledge of, as through observation or study: It sure is dark out there / Vera Rubin -- Let's start at the very beginning / Denise Schmandt-Besserat -- The little rover that could / Donna Shirley -- Tools in the jungle / Jane Goodall -- To be the first to find, learn of, or observe: Biggest, baddest, best / Sue Hendrickson -- The longest day of the year / Anna Sofaer -- My, what big teeth you have / Mary Leakey -- On the road again / June Moxon -- A desire to know or learn: Get the lead out / Katie Murray -- Up in smoke / Klara, Eli, Erin, Lindsey -- Drinkable puddles / Rachael Charles.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.4 2.0 58902.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB163 .T478 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

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They study the night sky, watch chimpanzees in the wild, and dig up ancient clay treasures. They search the beach for rare fossils, photograph old rock carvings, explore the hazards of lead poisoning, and wander into dark caves. And in their watching, digging, and wandering they become discoverers. Young and old, they are women and girls who discover seventy-million-year-old sea lizards, the very origins of counting and writing, Stone Age cave art, mysterious matter in the universe, and howa puddle of water can be sanitized when heated by the sun.
Here is a tribute to the findings and revelations of these remarkable women and girls: to their perseverance, their epiphanies, their wondrous curiosity. Brought to life by stunning collage illustrations, these inspiring stories drawn from primary sources consistently probe into still unanswered questions. Here are discoveries that open our eyes not only to what women and girls can accomplish but also to the astonishing world in which we live.

Author Notes

Catherine Thimmesh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including Team Moon , winner of the Sibert Medal. Her books have received numerous starred reviews, appeared on best books lists, and won many awards, including the IRA Children's Book Award and Minnesota Book Award. She lives in Minnesota with her family. Visit her online at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-7. The author of Girls Think of Everything (2000), about inventors expands the concept to look at female "discoverers." Among adults, there's Beatrix Potter, included here not as an illustrator, but as a naturalist who discovered that "a lichen consists of both an alga and a fungus"; an archeologist who discovered the roots of writing; a scientist who invented the Mars rover. Girls are represented here, too: one worked on lead poisoning, and a trio of girls looked into the ill effects of backpacks on children's health. The organization is poor, but the lively design and the mixed-media collage artwork is a creative delight, and the intricate ink-and-watercolor borders, inventive paintings, and childlike pictures will draw readers in. The best thing about the book, however, is Thimmesh's sparkling writing style, which celebrates women's curiosity and skill. Report writers will appreciate this, but the book will also charm browsers. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

The team behind Girls Think of Everything again pairs up for The Sky's the Limit: Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls by Catherine Thimmesh, illus. by Melissa Sweet. The enlightening volume, designed like a scrapbook with collage elements, drawings and photos, places well-known women, such as author Beatrix Potter and behaviorist Jane Goodall, alongside lesser-known figures such as Denise Schmandt-Besserat, who discovered the "roots of writing," and contemporary teens, eighth gra-ders from Spokane, Wash., who in 1997 developed an environmentally sound solution to the local farmers' allergic complications, arising from their annual burning of the bluegrass fields. Back matter includes a list of organizations, Web sites, quotes, bibliography, a timeline of women's discoveries and an index. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-A sequel to Girls Think of Everything (Houghton, 2000), this book describes 20 discoveries in such fields as astronomy, biology, anthropology, paleontology, and medicine. They range from Beatrix Potter's observation that lichen consists of algae and fungi to student Rachael Charles's science project that produced safe drinking water from a puddle exposed to reflected sunlight. The majority of the individuals featured are British or American, and only a few, such as Jane Goodall and Mary Leakey, are easily found in other such compilations. A couple of the profiles do not fit in neatly as "discoveries": NASA program manager Donna Shirley led the team that designed and produced the Mars rover Sojourner and artist June Moxon and a friend designed, built, and pedaled a kinetic sculpture coast-to-coast across the United States. Contact information is provided for three organizations and science competitions, and a substantial "Further Reading" section also lists two films. Black-and-white photos of most of the women are included. Sue Heinemann's The New York Public Library Amazing Women in American History (Wiley, 1998) profiles more individuals and is more detailed. Amelie Welden's Girls Who Rocked the World (1998) and Michelle Roehm's Girls Who Rocked the World 2 (2000, both Beyond Words) emphasize inventors, discoverers, adventurers, entertainers, and activists. However, this title, with its readily digestible size and delicately colored, mixed-media illustrations resembling pages from field notebooks, is an attractive package. Like scientific discovery itself, it leads to more questions and indicates further paths to explore.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Vera RubinDenise Schmandt-BesseratDonna ShirleyJane GoodallSue HendricksonAnna SofaerMary LeakeyJune MoxonKatie MurrayKlara and Eli and Erin and LindseyRachael Charles
Introductionp. 6
Chapter 1 To obtain knowledge of, as through observation or study
It Sure Is Dark Out Therep. 10
Let's Start at the Very Beginningp. 14
The Little Rover That Couldp. 20
Tools in the Junglep. 25
Chapter 2 To be the first to find, learn of, or observe
Biggest, Baddest, Bestp. 32
The Longest Day of the Yearp. 37
My, What Big Teeth You Havep. 41
On the Road Againp. 47
Chapter 3 A desire to know or learn
Get the Lead Outp. 54
Up in Smokep. 58
Drinkable Puddlesp. 61
Your Turnp. 64
Sourcesp. 65
Further Readingp. 66
Timelinep. 68
Indexp. 72