Aussie STEM Stars: Fiona Wood (Cristy Burne, Wild Dingo Press)
‘Aussie STEM Stars’ is an exciting new narrative nonfiction series that celebrates experts in the fields of science, maths, engineering and technology. Book one centres on the story of Fiona Wood, one of the world’s leading burns surgeons and the inventor of spray-on skin, which revolutionised the treatment of burns patients across the world. Children’s author and science writer Cristy Burne brings Fiona’s story to life, giving the reader insight into her childhood, celebrating her success and exploring the struggles and prejudice she faced throughout her professional career. Born to a family of coal miners, Fiona fought for her right to an education and to follow her dreams. The 2002 Bali bombings brought her important work in the field of burns to the attention of the public and cemented her as important figure in Australian history. Burne’s treatment of Fiona’s story balances the personal and the factual, making it accessible, while Fiona’s love of invention and discovery and her can-do attitude make her a strong role model, opening up a world of possibilities to young people. Perfect for a 10–13 readership and with teacher’s notes available, this series will be a fantastic school library resource. The narrative is accompanied by breakout fact boxes and the book also includes a glossary and first aid instructions for burns, giving readers the opportunity for further research.
M H Alessandrino is a Perth-based freelance writer and reviewer.