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The Vast Wonder of the World
Cover of The Vast Wonder of the World
The Vast Wonder of the World
Biologist Ernest Everett Just
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"A must-purchase picture book biography of a figure sure to inspire awe and admiration among readers."—School Library Journal (starred review) Extraordinary illustrations and lyrical text...
"A must-purchase picture book biography of a figure sure to inspire awe and admiration among readers."—School Library Journal (starred review) Extraordinary illustrations and lyrical text...
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Description-

  • "A must-purchase picture book biography of a figure sure to inspire awe and admiration among readers."—School Library Journal (starred review)
    Extraordinary illustrations and lyrical text present pioneering African American scientist Ernest Everett Just.

    Ernest Everett Just was not like other scientists of his time. He saw the whole, where others saw only parts. He noticed details others failed to see. He persisted in his research despite the discrimination and limitations imposed on him as an African American. His keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about egg cells and the origins of life.
    Through stunning illustrations and lyrical prose, this picture book presents the life and accomplishments of this long overlooked scientific pioneer.

About the Author-

  • Mélina Mangal is a school library teacher and author of biographies and short stories for young people. She enjoys dancing, being in nature, and traveling with her family. Visit her at melinamangal.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 8, 2018
    School librarian and biographer Mangal (Anne Hutchinson: Religious Reformer) highlights Ernest Everett Just, a little-known African-American scientist from the turn of the 20th century who unlocked the mysteries of “how the different parts of the cell worked together as new life developed.” Childhood hardships of disease and family deaths didn’t discourage Just from pursuing his passions; curiosity and a strong work ethic propelled him to
    success as
    a professor, embryologist, and cytologist, even in the midst of jim crow segregation laws. Just attended a school his mother created in South Carolina, and he paid his way through Dartmouth College while supporting his siblings after she passed away. In muted blue hues, pencil and digital scenes by Uribe (The Queen and the First Christmas Tree) depict the undeterred scientist, surrounded by tools of his craft, teaching at Howard University and working abroad: “Ernest worked in Europe as often and as long as he could, enjoying more warmth and respect than he’d ever felt in America.” Quotes from Just, as well as creators’ notes, a timeline, and source notes, wrap up this vivid, inspiring tribute to a noteworthy life. Ages 8–9. Illustrator’s agent: Alli Brydon, Bright USA.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2018

    Gr 1-4-Set amidst the evocative illustrations of Uribe is the life of Ernest Everett Just, a teacher, scientist, and poet famous for his foundational contributions to cell biology. Born in 1883 in Charleston, SC, Just was the son of a school teacher who encouraged his curiosity from a young age. Throughout, the discoveries Just makes-as a child and as an adult-spur his curiosity rather than sating it. It drives him to Dartmouth (during which time he also financially supported his siblings in the wake of his mother's death); to a faculty position at Howard in the biology department; to the Marine Biological Laboratory every summer for further research; and finally to Europe, where he received more respect as a scientist and thinker than he ever had in the United States because of racism. The text does not shy away from the discrimination Just and his family experienced as black Americans, and the ways it hindered him and his scholarly work throughout his life. Winner of the first NAACP Spingarn Medal, Just's accomplishments are not limited to the title of scientist: he was first a professor at Howard in the English department before becoming head of the Biology department, he wrote poetry, and he cared deeply about the experiences of his students. VERDICT A must-purchase picture book biography of a figure sure to inspire awe and admiration among readers.-Chelsea Woods, New Brunswick Free Public Library, NJ

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2018
    Ernest Everett Just, an unsung African-American hero, changed biological science in the early 1900s. Mangal introduces Just as a scientist who "saw the whole, where others saw only parts. He noticed details others failed to see." He became "the world authority on how life begins from an egg"--but it was a long and difficult journey. Just was an observant child with a schoolteacher mother, but when he caught typhoid fever, he lost the ability to read and struggled, successfully, to relearn. He studied at boarding school and attended Dartmouth College, where he had difficulty keeping up while working to pay his way and support two siblings. Taking a biology class and discovering the world of the cell changed his life. He taught at Howard University and conducted research at a laboratory in Massachusetts, updating experimental processes and discovering a controversial idea about the egg cell's role in fertilization. Mangal's succinct, respectful narrative contextualizes Just in his times, for instance pointing out that he experienced more freedom and respect in the European scientific community than he did in the United States; eventually, he moved to France. A beautiful palette of sea blues and greens, sand and coral colors surround Just in illustrations that highlight the importance of environment and family.More than a story of triumph against the odds, this book shows the necessity of opportunity for brilliant minds to reach their potential. (author's note, biographical note, illustrator's note, timeline, glossary, sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publishers Weekly

    "School librarian and biographer Mangal (Anne Hutchinson: Religious Reformer) highlights Ernest Everett Just, a little-known African-American scientist from the turn of the 20th century who unlocked the mysteries of 'how the different parts of the cell worked together as new life developed.' Childhood hardships of disease and family deaths didn't discourage Just from pursuing his passions; curiosity and a strong work ethic propelled him to success as a professor, embryologist, and cytologist, even in the midst of jim crow segregation laws. Just attended a school his mother created in South Carolina, and he paid his way through Dartmouth College while supporting his siblings after she passed away. In muted blue hues, pencil and digital scenes by Uribe (The Queen and the First Christmas Tree) depict the undeterred scientist, surrounded by tools of his craft, teaching at Howard University and working abroad: 'Ernest worked in Europe as often and as long as he could, enjoying more warmth and respect than he'd ever felt in America.' Quotes from Just, as well as creators' notes, a timeline, and source notes, wrap up this vivid, inspiring tribute to a noteworthy life."—Publishers Weekly

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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Biologist Ernest Everett Just
Mélina Mangal
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