This book is the first in a new and unique non-fiction series, focusing on Australians who have achieved great things in STEM.
This book focuses on Fiona Wood, a UK-born doctor, who married and moved to Perth, Australia and after a disaster involving many burns casualties, needed to find a more efficient way of doing skin grafts. This was a classic case of ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. An accidental discovery led to more experimentation and spray-on skin became a way of providing new skin in a more timely way, saving lives and reducing scarring and the need for further surgeries.
The story is written in novel format with illustrations and ‘fact boxes’ throughout. The first half of the book focuses on Fiona’s childhood growing up with her not-rich family in a coal mining town in England. Readers will identify with Fiona’s struggles with bullies and to fit in, but with her parents’ encouragement and wisdom she developed a can-do attitude, resilience, and a strong work ethic which helped her achieve her goals.
At the back is a glossary explaining medical terms used throughout the book, and also notes on the school system in England of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This helps the story flow better, reducing the need for explanations.
With STEM or STEAM becoming an increasingly important part of the school curriculum, Aussie STEM Stars is a timely series and would be a great addition to any school library… How about a NZ series?
Title: Aussie STEM Stars, Fiona Wood: Inventor of Spray-On Skin
Author: Cristy Burne
Illustrator: Diana Silkina
Publisher: Wild Dingo Press
Publication: September 2020
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
You can buy this book here