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Site Reviews

I liked how from when she was 14 she had a dream of being a engineer. I think that concept of not being afraid to step up and do what you love even if you might get called names is really cool.

I liked how she was descriptive and how she explained the issues that she had previously had being the only female engineer, but how she then came out of her shell and she thrived in a way, where she never would have if she stayed as her untrue self-inside of her shell.

I liked the way Charlotte embodied the strengths and skills she shared with us: persistence, resilience, integrity. She was able to come back from setbacks and was fine moving between companies without particular attachments, which I respected. I'm not sure if I could do that. While this may be cliche, she didn't give up, and in the end, that paid off for her.

I liked how Kimberly was able to work past having ADD and scoliosis that limited her movement. She is very persuasive and encourages moving forwards in the most positive way possible. Kimberly also explains how to keep animals safe on beaches, which I think can make a huge difference in the actions of people.

I liked the way the author described her experiences moving to the Netherlands, especially after 9/11. I felt like it added something to the story and made it more realistic and present.

I really loved when she left China to live in a new country she was scared but didn't show it. She succeeded in learning a new language quite quickly and that gives me hope for stepping out of the box and trying new things.

The story showed me that you don't have to be good at everything to succeed in life. You just have to have enough courage and dedication to a cause.

I really liked the author's voice throughout the chapter: it was encouraging and inspiring, but also very realistic in how she described her experiences and how she got into STEM in the first place. The Miss Massachusetts story at the end was also a nice touch, and while not crucial to the chapter, it definitely made the author's journey more interesting and relatable.

What I enjoyed most about this story was that the theme was extremely motivational to get out in the world and do whatever you feel is right for you. It was also just the right length and really grabbed me as a reader. Lastly, I enjoyed the pictures!

I liked the quotes because they are inspiring. The story itself was very much her story, not anyone else's, and that was wonderful as I was reading it.

I really liked how motivational this piece was. it was very inspiring because all of these women did not let other people's thoughts get in their way. That's why I thought that the piece that I read was very motivational.

What I liked most about this story is it shows what her life really was and that she doesn't romanticize her life to be something it wasn't. Because of this, I could relate more from being pushed out to go hiking, to doing homework, it also makes it more unique.

This piece was very inspiring and it makes me want to step out of the box and try something new.

When I was reading Sandy Jo's story, I felt I was right along with her watching all of the struggles she faced but then seeing her overcome them with dignity and integrity. This story has encouraged me to stand up to people who tell me I can't do something because of my gender. It also taught me that in general, anything that stands in my way, I can overcome with courage and hope.

Book Reviews


A must read!

Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2024

I highly recommend this book because it is very inspiring, uplifting and awakens the courage to follow one’s dreams. The writing was captivating, especially the quotes in the story of Christina Goethel are very encouraging.

Anne Camille Talley

A fascinating way....

Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2024

For kids to learn about growing up to learn about science, technology, engineering and math! Not bad reading for adults, either. One person found this helpful.

M. Stone

Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2024

I started out studying engineering, and later moved into computer science (still supporting construction and building operations).
I know that I would never have been this successful, or maybe not even stayed in the field, if I hadn't met other women early on who showed me what was possible.
Women in my family weren't 'professionals'. They worked hard, but always in service to others, and they did creative things outside of work to keep their minds stimulated.
I became disabled at age 12. I still loved science... but suddenly, due to my illness, I was no longer breaking the curve on my class tests. I never was able to move on to physics in high school because I couldn't pass chemistry (writing down the periodic table elements and their weights). It was devastating. Growing up watching PBS and educational shows were my favorite.
I ended up in drafting, because I could use computers to organize my ideas and share them with others. You couldn't see my bad handwriting. That was a desk job that would give me health insurance.
Once I was working in the industry as a file, I learned from others in my office (all men about my father's age), and didn't think much past that.
Then I went to conferences, and connected with the handful of women there. Who got on stage and spoke with authority, and could defend their positions when challenged or spoken over. I took NOTES.
That's when I decided to start speaking and writing as well, to reinforce my own knowledge by clearly communicating it to others. And I went back to school, with the desire to be a mechanical engineer.
I've read that girls who grow up knowing a woman in a technical field (family or close friends) will be much more likely to pursue that herself.
SO, WHEN I SAW AN AD FOR THIS BOOK! I knew I had to read it. To see living women out there dealing with some issues I've dealt with (and many I have not) was so exciting.
It does not matter where they lived, or the struggles they or their families had, one thing each of these inspiring women have in common is their perseverance and drive to learn. Ideas, education, mentoring, experiments, growth, sharing, etc. The JOY and FREEDOM they discovered in learning and building skills made me tear up at a few points in this book. The tenacity exhibited by each of these people to achieve incredible things!
Incredible, yes... but now we see their lives, and we see the steps they took, we can know... we could possibly do it, too.
There are a couple of people I want to buy a copy of this book for, and hope they can share it with their kids and students to help them see the possibilities and potential they have for exciting careers that are making a difference in the world TODAY.


Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2024

"Determined to be Extraordinary" is a refreshing addition to STEM literature for young girls. Unlike many STEM books that focus on historical figures, this book features real, contemporary women who are excelling in their fields today. Through personal stories and photographs, this memoir showcases the journeys of these inspiring women, highlighting their perseverance, brilliance, and personal growth.
One of the standout chapters features Distinguished Professor of Earth Sciences, Laura Guertin, who shares her journey from a science-averse child to a successful marine geologist and university professor. Her story, along with others, emphasizes the power of perseverance and the intersection of art and science.
The book, authored by Dawn Heime, aims to make the often-overlooked contributions of women in STEM visible. It provides the role models that Heime herself missed during her formative years, showing young girls that they too can achieve ambitious goals in STEM fields.
"Determined to be Extraordinary" is an incredible collection of stories presenting real-life examples of women from around the world who braved the odds. Their first-hand accounts guide readers through journeys of perseverance, spirit, brilliance, and personal growth, inspiring young girls to conquer STEM fields fearlessly.
This book is a must-read for young girls, educators, and anyone interested in promoting diversity in STEM. It’s an empowering collection that will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of female scientists, engineers, and technologists. For more information and resources, visit Dawn Heime's website.

Amazon Customer

Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2024

This is a very compelling book that provides a much-needed roadmap to the next generation of women scientists! Meet women in STEM who share how they followed their passion, how STEM affected them, personally, and how they then used the skills they developed to impact the world around them. These accounts show that there is no set path that leads to success in STEM; you can be from a small town or be a city girl, come from means or not, STEM can be right for you. The women in this book represent the diversity that can, and should, be in these fields. The common denominator is passion for what you do. These women also provide insights into attributes they found contributed to their success – belief in yourself, surrounding yourself with people who support you, persistence and not being afraid to reach out to people who inspire you. Readers will understand that success takes hard work, but are also encouraged on with cheers of “You can do it!” and “Dream big!”. These stories demonstrate the applicability of STEM to many different fields. It’s not just running laboratory experiments in a white lab coat, it’s starting and running companies, doing research in the Arctic, designing programs to improve health care across the globe, working to expand health care access and beyond. These women are upfront and honest about different challenges they faced, and about the joy they felt at having overcome them and the confidence they gained in doing so. They will inspire you to push your limits and unleash your full potential. Whether you are exploring an early interest in STEM or are already a fan, this book will be a valuable resource for you.

Ghaida Nurul Ghaniyu

Reviewed in Canada on July 1, 2024

We need more women story to inspire other womens in different roles. Definitely recommend book to read.
Customer image
From the United States

Charlotte E

Great inspiring stories.

Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2024

Verified Purchase
giving to my mentees
One person found this helpful


Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2024

Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book because it is very inspiring, uplifting and awakens the courage to follow one’s dreams. The writing was captivating, especially the quotes in the story of Christina Goethel are very encouraging.
One person found this helpful

Anne Camille Talley

A fascinating way....

Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2024

For kids to learn about growing up to learn about science, technology, engineering and math! Not bad reading for adults, either.

Charlotte E

Great inspiring stories.

Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2024

giving to my mentees

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