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The Fire of Stars

The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who

Discovered What Stars Are Made of



Chronicle Books

(pub.2.7.2023) 48 pages

Author: Kirsten W. Larson

Illustrator: Katherine Roy

Character: Cecilia Payne


" Astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne was the first person to discover what burns at the heart of stars. But she didn't start out as the groundbreaking scientist she would eventually become. She started out as a girl full of curiosity, hoping one day to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

With lyrical, evocative text by Kirsten W. Larson and extraordinary illustrations by award-winning illustrator Katherine Roy, this moving biography powerfully parallels the kindling of Cecilia Payne's own curiosity and her scientific career with the process of a star's birth, from mere possibility in an expanse of space to an eventual, breathtaking explosion of light."

Tantalizing taste:

" ... Cecilia's sphere feels smaller and smaller still when she realizes her new school is a black hole with none of her favorite classes.

No algebra. No German. No science.

Not even any friends for a shy and studious girl like her.

Cecilia hides in a secret place- a dusty lab meant for older students- and studies the rows of chemicals ringing the room. Here are the pieces that put the universe together."

And something more: The Cecilia Payne: Science Superstar section explains: "As a woman working in science, Cecilia often found her path difficult. She didn't look like other scientists of her day; they were mostly men But Cecilia proved not only what makes a star but also what makes a star scientist: curiosity, passion, hard work, and a belief in oneself."


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