Hidden Powers: Lise Meitner's Call to Science Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
On hand as of May 25 6:18am


From the acclaimed author of Finding Wonders and Grasping Mysteries comes a gorgeously written biography in verse about the pioneering Jewish woman physicist whose scientific prowess changed the course of World War II.

At the turn of the 20th century, Lise Meitner dreamed of becoming a scientist. In her time, girls were not supposed to want careers, much less ones in science. But Lise was smart—and determined. She earned a PhD in physics, then became the first woman physics professor at the University of Berlin. The work was thrilling, but Nazi Germany was a dangerous place for a Jewish woman. When the risks grew too great, Lise escaped to Sweden, where she continued the experiments that she and her laboratory partner had worked on for years. Her efforts led to the discovery of nuclear fission and altered the course of history.

Only Lise’s partner, a man, received the Nobel Prize for their findings, but this moving and accessible biography shows how Lise’s legacy endures.

About the Author

Jeannine Atkins is the author of several books for young readers about courageous women, including Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed ScienceGrasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved MathStone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis, and Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Jeannine teaches writing for children and young adults at Simmons University. She lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at JeannineAtkins.com.

Praise For…

"Deliberate, delicate verse describes well the blistering unfairness of sexist academia and the complications inherent in having mentors who don’t share one’s marginalized identities . . . An admirable tribute to a life that holds some timely lessons." 

— Kirkus Reviews

"Atkins approaches her newest biographical novel in verse with the same clarity of purpose and ability to express the vision, the courage, and the achievements of a woman aspiring to move science forward . . . A respectful and very accessible introduction to Meitner." 
— Booklist

"Vivid and poignant, Atkins’s poems chronicle Meitner’s hesitation to abandon her experiments and flee Germany after Hitler’s rise to power. . . Atkins meshes “facts with empathy” in this stirring portrait of—as Meitner’s epitaph reads—“A Physicist Who Never Lost Her Humanity.” 
— Horn Book Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9781665902502
ISBN-10: 1665902507
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 18th, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English