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Secrets of the Sea

The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist



Clarion Books

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

(pub.3.9.2021) 40 pages

Author: Evan Griffith

Illustrator: Joanie Stone

Character: Jeanne Power

Overview: "How did a nineteenth-century dressmaker revolutionize science?

Jeanne Power was creative: she wanted to learn about the creatures that swim beneath the ocean waves, so she built glass tanks and changed the way we study underwater life forever.

Jeanne Power was groundbreaking: she solved mysteries of sea animals and published her findings at a time when few of women’s contributions to science were acknowledged.

Jeanne Power was persistent: when records of her research were lost, she set to work repeating her studies. And when men tried to take credit for her achievements, she stood firm and insisted on the recognition due to her.

Jeanne Power was inspiring, and the legacy of this pioneering marine scientist lives on in every aquarium."

Tantalizing taste:

"Jeanne loved the rich colors of the paper nautilus. She loved the graceful way it sails through the water. With her aquariums, she was able to do something no one had ever done before: observe this enchanting octopus alive and up close. And this careful study gave her the chance to solve a mystery that had puzzled scientists for ages...

Jeanne's heart leaped. She had solved the mystery of the paper nautilus. It didn't steal another animal's shell - it created one of its own!"

And something more: Jeanne's Life and Legacy at the back of the book explains: "Although aquariums have existed in various forms since ancient times, Jeanne was one of the first to create aquariums specifically for scientific observation. This put her at the forefront of a major shift in how animals were studied ... The way she advocated for her work was equally revolutionary. Jeanne was far from the only woman making game-changing scientific discoveries in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, many female scientists of this era did not receive credit for their work. By speaking out when others tried to lay claim to her research, and by ensuring that her name was attached to her publications, she helped open the door for the recognition of women in science."


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