What is dark matter? Well, if you are looking for an answer, you won’t exactly find it in Shining Star: Vera Rubin Discovers Dark Matter. Instead, in this picture book (due November 2023, and yes, I read it via an online reader copy) you will find the biography of Dr. Vera Rubin, a young girl who in the 1940’s said, “World. I’m going to study the stars!” And she did, all the while raising a family and facing discrimination. Her studies, ingenuity, tenacity, and a picture of a woman in a shirt on a bathroom door would take her far. So far in fact, she would see how the stars moved, what held things together, and much more. From a homemade telescope to some of the greatest universities and observatories, Rubin made history.
And Suzanne Slade uses their text, as well as Rubin’s own words, to illustrate these accomplishments. And speaking of illustrations Susan Reagan did some artwork that could almost be said to be out of this world. Still, it is grounded here on Earth. The colors match the eras Rubin lived and work, the places she lives and studied, and showing the wonders of space. Things are rich, busy details and moves things along at a steady pace.
This is not just a book about science, or women scientist, but a book about perseverance and determination. It is about overcoming obstacles and working hard. Due to the format, it can be adapted to multiple ages, but at least five and up is best. Additional information, timelines and resources are included.