The Fourth Gutsy Girl = Dr. Jennifer Wiseman

Recently, I visited a group of readers via Skype. The girls and their moms asked ALL kinds of smarty pants questions about the next Gutsy Girl and with the release of the fourth Gutsy Girl book quickly approaching (it’s this week, people!), I wanted to share part of our conversation with you!

An early sketch of Dr. Jennifer Wiseman from the illustrator, Beverly Wines

Who is the next Gutsy Girl? The fourth Gutsy Girl is Dr. Jennifer Wiseman. Dr. Wiseman is an astronomer and astrophysicist, and like all previous Gutsy Girls, Dr. Wiseman is a Christian. You can read more about here or listen to her speak here.

Why did you pick a scientist for the next Gutsy Girl? Initially, I didn’t! When I decided to write the Gutsy Girls series, I chose five women who I thought were particularly gutsy, but as I traveled to schools, read letters from young readers, and even received advice from my favorite, curly haired, neighborhood girl, I noticed a theme: Girls want to read about women who love science AND Jesus. They are starving for stories about women who are Christians and who work in the field of science. Are women like this out there? What are their names and where are the books written about them?

Is Dr. Jennifer Wiseman alive and what does she do today? Yes, Dr. Wiseman is very much alive! She studies stars and interstellar clouds using all kinds of telescopes. Some of the telescopes she uses are on the ground and some are in space. Early in her career, Dr. Wiseman and a colleague even discovered a comet. She has worked for major observatories over her career including the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Wiseman is also a leader in the discussion on science and faith.

If you wanted a Gutsy Girl who was interested in space, why didn’t you just pick an astronaut? Good question! Readers already know about astronauts, but most kids have never heard of an astrophysicist. When I was young, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have listed careers I knew or I had read about: teacher, doctor, nurse, counselor. Specialized careers in science weren’t highlighted in books or talked about, and I had no idea there were so many options, especially related to science. Girls can’t be interested in careers they don’t know about. Now readers will know someone who is an astrophysicist!

Are all of the previous Gutsy Girls real women? Yes! Previous Gutsy Girls, Gladys, Corrie, Betsie, and Fanny were all real women. Although the life stories of these women are exciting, they aren’t made-up. Gladys dodged bullets, worked as a spy, and rescued children. Corrie and Betsie endangered their lives by hiding strangers in their home to protect them from Nazi soldiers. Despite being blind, Fanny wrote thousands of hymns and committed her life to serving others.

What makes someone a Gutsy Girl? Gutsy Girls are brave and courageous, but they don’t find strength within themselves. Instead, they get their gutsiness from God. Gutsy Girls are faced with circumstance so great they need to rely on God for His help and guidance.

Why is Dr. Jennifer Wiseman a Gutsy Girl? Dr. Wiseman is a leader in science, a field not known for being dominated by women or Christians. She has made it her mission to talk with grace and facilitate conversations about science and faith. She is wildly intelligent and works hard to share what she learns with people everywhere.

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That’s it, friends! Hopefully, getting to know the next Gutsy Girl makes you even more excited to read about her. Mark your calendars. This Thursday is the day Gutsy Girls: Book Four releases into the world!

Your turn. What kind of science happens around your house? Do you have any favorite scientists whose stories resonate with you? Who are some of your favorite women in science?

Have you seen my Ultimate List of 2017 Solar Eclipse Resources?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sheri Traxler

    What an inspiring choice for Gutsy Girls! And perfect timing for the Eclipse.

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Thanks, Sheri!

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