Lightning Mary by Anthea Simmons

This novel tells of the early life of dinosaur discoverer and fossil hunter Mary Anning from her point of view, giving a real sense of her character and revealing the difficulties for women in the 19th century, especially those from a working class background, of being recognised as scientists. The author’s research is woven seamlessly into the story and it always feels as though the details are germane to the telling while the language really gives a feel for the historical period without sounding archaic.

There is an afterword in which the author writes about the factual basis for the novel, there are notes about fossils and fossil-hunting and, interestingly from an educational viewpoint, there is an endorsement from an organisation that aims to inspire and support girls and women into STEM industries.

Picture books about Mary Anning by Catherine Brighton and Laurence Anholt are CLPE core books.

Andersen Press 9781783448296