The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Best Women in Science Books

Close-up of teenagers studying and holding molecules in a library

For too long, science was considered a man’s domain. Despite that perception, women have made their mark on the field throughout history and continue to have a positive impact. Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Mae C. Jamison are just a few among many female scientists who have built the foundation for women in this field.

Young girls and women can find inspiration by reading about these and other successful women in science. The following selections have been curated based on their ability to build girls’ interest in science, by extension developing and inspiring the minds of future scientists for generations to come! As readers are motivated by the stories of these women, they’ll also become comfortable with scientific terminology that will be valuable in middle school, high school and beyond.

Best Compilation Book

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World (Hardcover)

List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $12.76 USD In Stock
Used from: $8.00 USD In Stock

From Jane Goodall to Katherine Johnson, this book has something for every girl who hopes to one day work in science. The infographics in particular show the impact of women in STEM and how they have changed the world. Recommended for children ages 9 and up.

Best Research Book

D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II (Hardcover)

List Price: $28.00 USD
New From: $17.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $17.75 USD In Stock

This is the untold story of Special Operations Executives (SOE)—female spies—recruited by Britain’s elite spy agency. Author and master of research, Sarah Rose, delves deep into diaries, declassified files and oral histories to make the stories of these remarkable women come to life. In this historical collection, the groundwork for D-Day is set in motion. Recommended for elementary schoolers learning about the history of World War II.

Most Influential Book

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II (Paperback)

List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $7.94 USD In Stock
Used from: $7.50 USD In Stock

Women with our-year degrees were almost unheard of during the time of World War II. Therefore, female teachers were called on to be a part of the wartime intelligence community. The women in “Code Girls” played a pivotal role in wartime efforts deciphering and breaking enemy codes. These stories demonstrates that when given the same opportunities as men, women can shine like a beacon of light for all. Recommended for elementary school readers learning about World War II and American history.

Best Mini-Bio Series

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World (Paperback)

List Price: $16.00 USD
New From: $10.76 USD In Stock
Used from: $7.00 USD In Stock

The female scientists in “Headstrong” are known for being game-changers in the world of STEM. Their groundbreaking discoveries and inventions changed the world, and in some cases, led to Nobel Prizes. This book aims to inspire and encourage women in science today to continue excelling. Recommended for middle schoolers and adults who love science.

While “Bad Girls Throughout History” recognizes more than just women in science, it highlights female pioneers in the STEM field, such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie. The book is a welcome read with vibrant, stylish illustrations, and it’s sure to serve as an inspiration to women from middle school through adulthood.

Expert Commentary

“As a woman in science, I had several real-life role models growing up who encouraged me in pursuing my goals. Any of these books could plant the first seeds in the mind of a child that may later bear fruit. For any young girl, these important narratives can help shape their perception of what is possible, and create paths for the child’s future that may not exist otherwise.”

Our Expert Consultant

Melissa Spurling

Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.