Aussie Stem Star: Fiona Wood by Cristy Burne

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Aussie Stem Star: Fiona Wood is the true story of Australian plastic surgeon, Fiona Wood, who came to prominence during the Bali bombings in 2002. Her life story is one of triumph over adversity. She was born into a poor mining family in a rural village in Yorkshire but was blessed with hard working parents who encouraged their children to strive for their very best and follow their dreams. As well as a champion athlete Fiona was also highly academic and was fortunate to attend an expensive school for her final years of schooling when her mother was able to secure a position there. Fiona had her sights set on becoming an astronaut and knew that she would have to work very hard to achieve high grades and then win a scholarship to university. While at university, Fiona came to love science and maths and followed her older brother in to the study of medicine. In 1987 Fiona and her husband moved to Australia where she was able to eventually continue her works as a plastic surgeon after a number of obstacles were overcome. In 1992 she began growing patient's skin in order to treat a burns victim and in 2002 her hard work, training and determination was put to the test in the treatment of multiple burns victims from the Bali bombings. Fiona Wood has won numerous awards including Australian of the Year for her work with burns patients.

This very interesting and well-written story makes compelling reading either independently or as a class novel. There are detailed teacher notes. There are also another four books in the Aussie Stem Stars series with more to be published in the future. Perfect for a school or public library.

Themes: STEM, Auto-biography, Medical Techniques, Burns victims, Persistence, Resilience.

Kathryn Beilby