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The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney - The Story of Venetia Burney

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Is this book about a real woman in STEAM?

An empowering, inspiring--and accessible!--nonfiction picture book about the eleven-year-old girl who actually named the newly discovered Pluto in 1930.

When Venetia Burney's grandfather reads aloud from the newspaper about a new discovery--a "ninth major planet" that has yet to be named--her eleven-year-old mind starts whirring. She is studying the planets in school and loves Roman mythology. "It might be called Pluto," she says, thinking of the dark underworld. Grandfather loves the idea and contacts his friend at London's Royal Astronomical Society, who writes to scientists at the Lowell Observatory in Massachusetts, where Pluto was discovered. After a vote, the scientists agree unanimously: Pluto is the perfect name for the dark, cold planet.

Here is a picture book perfect for STEM units and for all children--particularly girls--who have ever dreamed of becoming a scientist.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52
Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52
Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52


Alice B. McGinty


Elizabeth Haidle


Schwartz & Wade

Recommended Ages:

5 - 9 years

Venetia Burney

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Girls Love STEAM Review:

Additional Reader & Professional Reviews:

"An inspiring and beautifully illustrated tale made all the better by its historical foundation."
-- Kirkus Review

"McGinty first introduces readers to young Venetia Burney attentively listening to a school lesson about the solar system and quickly establishes Venetia’s voracious curiosity across disciplines. The elegant yet accessible text is packed with historical tidbits that contextualize her scientific contribution without overwhelming readers.... The constellations on the endpapers immediately introduce the connection between mythology and astronomy that inspired Venetia, while stylized maps and diagrams of the solar system will enthrall readers of all ages."
-- Kirkus Reviews

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For ages 12 and under

Parent Permission Required

For ages 13-17

For ages 18 & Above

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