Cover image for Before the world was ready : stories of daring genius in science
Before the world was ready : stories of daring genius in science
Eamer, Claire, 1947- , author.
Publication Information:
Toronto ; New York ; Vancouver : Annick Press, [2013]

Physical Description:
125 pages : colour illustrations, colour portraits ; 23 cm
"Meet eight great minds (and colorful personalities) whose ideas changed the way we see the world--and find out what happened when the world wasn't ready to listen"--P. [4] of cover.
General Note:
"Edited by Paula Ayer"--Title page verso.
What have you done to my planet? -- Slip-sliding around the world -- Wash your hands! -- Darwin bides his time -- Soar like an eagle, land like a rock -- Lighting sparks a current war -- What's so great about an adding machine? -- The birds fall silent.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.1 3.0 169332.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q180.55.D57 E24 2013 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Eight fascinating tales of scientists and inventors ahead of their time. In this thought-provoking book, you'll find out what happened when people weren't ready to listen to innovators who came up with revolutionary ideas. Discover how Alfred Wegener struggled to convince geologists that the ground beneath our feet is moving, why "mad scientist" Nikola Tesla's futuristic ideas about electricity were dismissed, why Charles Darwin delayed publishing his controversial theory of evolution for decades, and how Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace nearly invented the first computer in the 1800s. You'll also meet Copernicus, who proposed a sun-centered model of the universe; Ignaz Semmelweis, who tried in vain to persuade doctors to use disinfection methods; the aviation pioneer George Cayley, whose ideas were decades ahead of the technology that would make them work; and Rachel Carson, who sounded the first alarm about the effects of pesticides on wildlife. Nowadays, we think of these scientists as heroes, but they all endured great personal hardships for daring to think differently. Enlivened by colorful and witty illustrations, these compelling stories of great minds--and often eccentric personalities--are sure to draw in young readers. Look around: can you spot the next world-shaking idea?

Author Notes

Claire Eamer has written numerous books for kids, including The World in Your Lunch Box and Lizards in the Sky . She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Sa Boothroyd is an illustrator who lives in Gibsons, British Columbia. She previously illustrated The World in Your Lunch Box for Annick Press.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Eamer explores what it means to defy popular wisdom and become a trailbreaker in the forest of ideas in this fun collective biography. Detailed stories about eight scientists explain how they endured rejection and ridicule for their work on both personal and professional levels. Included are Nicolaus Copernicus, who insisted that the Earth was not the center of the universe; Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who encouraged doctors to wash their hands to reduce death rates in hospitals; and Rachel Carson, who was the first to warn of the dangers of DDT. Each person's process of inquiry, experimentation, and discovery typifies the scientific method. Squiggly cartoon illustrations provide comical sidebars in concert with the text. The book's epilogue reinforces its thesis, explaining common obstacles to each of the scientists and discussing potential trailbreakers of the near future in the field of climate change. Aside from providing interesting biographical reading, this book is replete with life lessons for adolescents and tweens about flouting popularity in the name of what is right.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2010 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-By encouraging readers to "spot the trailblazers," Eamer introduces history's greatest scientific discoveries, such as plate tectonics, microorganisms, and the harmful effects of pesticides. Although no shortage of published material exists for many of the included scientists, the author takes a novel approach by linking scientists across cultures and time periods based on a similar focus of study. Much of the text is dedicated to forerunners who inspired today's better-known names, such as Sir George Cayley, whose flight research provided the framework for the Wright brothers. A well-rounded list of titles for further reading, a lengthy selected bibliography, and an inclusive index are included. Boothroyd's whimsical illustrations provide a touch of humor. This title may be of interest to students with an appreciation for science or history as well as those researching a specific scientist.-Meaghan Darling, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.