About this series
Each book is written by an award-winning children’s author and follows the real-life stories of some of Australia’s top scientists and inventors, chosen on the basis of their pioneering work. Themes explored include childhood, school, family, and formative experiences, what inspired them to pursue their chosen path, how they persevered in the face of challenges, and what they have contributed to science in Australia.
About Fiona Wood: Burns surgeon and inventor of spray-on skin
Fiona Wood was the daughter of fifth-generation Yorkshire coal-miners, who encouraged her to try everything from ballet to street fighting. They instilled in her the value of hard work, although Fiona was often teased by others for being ‘different’ and wanting more than her tiny Yorkshire village could offer. She faced prejudice and sexism in her professional career but fought for her chance to become a medical student and work as a surgeon. She eventually became one of the world’s leading burns surgeon and Head of the Burns Unit at Royal Perth Hospital. With her invention of the revolutionary spray-on skin, she changed the way burns were treated forever. She further came to the world’s attention in the wake of the Bali bombings, when she and her team were called upon to face a crisis beyond anything they had experienced, racing against time and infection to save the 28 critically injured people admitted to Royal Perth.
Fiona’s story is one of hard work and hope, of vision and direction, of stepping up, not giving in, and helping people rebuild their bodies and their lives.
More to love about STEM Stars
• Teacher’s notes available. A perfect series for school libraries or home bookshelves.
• A fresh and unique series that focuses on our Australian STEM heroes. Science is more important that ever as we look to our inventors and innovators to solve the contemporary problems facing humanity and the planet.
• Strong female role model and inspiration to young scientists to dream the impossible
• Narrative non-fiction as a tool for educating children, proving that it can be as fun and interesting as fiction
“Read your book and honestly couldn’t put it down! She even took it to school to finish it because she couldn’t fathom the thought of not finishing it that day. You are AMAZING! Fiona is AMAZING!” – Parent
“Smart children will like this book! In this fabulous story, Fiona defends the weak ones and fixes the broken ones to fight for her chance to study medicine. My favourite part about this story is that Fiona works hard on a study and she doesn’t give up because it reminds me that even if I have a bit of trouble with my sport in school, I don’t start giving up. I still haven’t given up yet! Now what are you waiting for? Go read this outstanding book! I hope you enjoy this book!” – Kobe, 9, Alphabet Soup Magazine
“Cristy Burne brings Fiona’s story to life, giving the reader insight into her childhood, celebrating her success and exploring the struggles and prejudice she faced throughout her professional career. Born to a family of coal miners, Fiona fought for her right to an education and to follow her dreams. The 2002 Bali bombings brought her important work in the field of burns to the attention of the public and cemented her as important figure in Australian history. Burne’s treatment of Fiona’s story balances the personal and the factual, making it accessible, while Fiona’s love of invention and discovery and her can-do attitude make her a strong role model, opening up a world of possibilities to young people. Perfect for a 10–13 readership” – Books+Publishing
“Here’s the Thing: believe me when I say I am someone who has almost ZERO interest in science, I prefer Astrology to Astronomy, that sort of person. I sat down to read one chapter and ended up reading half of it. I finished it in two sittings.
The Review: I would best describe @cristyburne style as easy and engaging and full of emotion! Page 7 and I’m so invested I’m ready to bawl my eyes out! I just wanted to know everything about Fiona Wood. The story was so inspiring and so humanistic I forgot my aversion to science.
Favourite passage: ‘If you could believe Dad’s stories, the Woods has been going down coal mines since Fiona’s great, great, great grandfather was killed in one about a zillion years ago. So, when Dad was old enough, Grandma had ripped the studs off his soccer boots – his beloved and only shoes – and he’d walked the same worn track into the darkness and the slush.’
The Verdict: what a valuable resource for schools to have! I can’t wait to read the whole series, each one about a living Australian Star of STEM.” – @ShirleyonMarrs
“Heroes and heroines come from different fields of endeavour and receive varying degrees of public recognition …
This book should be in every school and public library as Burne goes where few writers do as it celebrates the advances of science and medicine … a story that transcends the factual.”
-Rayma Turton, Magpies magazine