Shining Star: Vera Rubin Discovers Dark Matter (Hardcover)

Shining Star: Vera Rubin Discovers Dark Matter By Suzanne Slade, Susan Reagan (Illustrator) Cover Image

Shining Star: Vera Rubin Discovers Dark Matter (Hardcover)

By Suzanne Slade, Susan Reagan (Illustrator)


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Pioneering astronomer Vera Rubin discovers dark matter—the mysterious substance that makes up most of the universe—while confronting sexism, and paves the way for future women scientists in this engaging STEM/STEAM picture book biography.

From the moment she first looked out her window at the night sky, future astronomer Vera Rubin was star-struck. Her cosmic questions about stars, galaxies, and the universe gave Vera the drive to build her own telescope and earn multiple degrees in astronomy, despite an army of naysayers who thought women shouldn’t reach for the stars.

But Vera did reach for the stars. Studying spiral galaxies, she searched the skies all through the night, using telescopes in unheated observatories, some of which barred women until Vera insisted they let her in. And her studies revealed something stellar: evidence for the existence of dark matter, the most mysterious substance in the universe.

Today, scientists continue to build off of Vera’s groundbreaking work as they strive to better understand dark matter. A trailblazing scientist, Vera Rubin changed people’s understanding of both the universe and what a woman can do.
Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 150 children's books. She has received numerous awards and distinctions for her work, including the Robert F. Sibert Honor for Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks and the Golden Kite Award for The Music in George's Head. She is also the author of Blast Off! and the forthcoming book Dazzlin’ Dolly.

Susan Reagan grew up with a passion to draw. She earned her BFA in illustration from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Susan's titles include You & Me, Simon Says, Lights Out, and Revolutionary Prudence Wright.
Product Details ISBN: 9781635926019
ISBN-10: 1635926017
Publisher: Calkins Creek
Publication Date: November 7th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English
A 2024 NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book

"The compelling story is beautifully told via entertaining anecdotes interspersed with hand-lettered quotes from Rubin herself. Dreamy watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture the universe in deep purples and blacks, and it often appears as though Rubin is floating in her revered night sky...An entrancing introduction to Rubin’s remarkable life and scientific legacy." —Booklist

"More women in STEM fields should be brought to young readers’ attention; this is a well-written, absorbing portrait of a brilliant female scientist in a particularly male-dominated field. Quotes from Rubin are sprinkled throughout, like stars. The illustrations, created with hand-painted watercolor washes and ink lines that were enhanced digitally, have a “cosmic” feel to them, with lots of night-sky purple, swirling planets, and starlike points of color. An admiring, respectful treatment of a highly accomplished scientist." —Kirkus Reviews

"Meticulously studying the stars when few women could, Vera Rubin changed the face of astronomy and our understanding of the universe. With energy and elegance, author Suzanne Slade and illustrator Susan Reagan perfectly capture Vera’s lifelong love of the night sky and the role it played in helping us reimagine the cosmos, one packed with mysterious matter we cannot see.”— Ashley Yeager, Science News editor and author of Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter, and Beyond: The life of Astronomer Vera Rubin