Books That Inspire 2012

Sophia Scrooby Preserved
Martha Bacon

My 11-year-old self loved Sophia Scrooby unreservedly; she was captivating, clever, self-possessed, brave, and inquisitive. An African girl sold alone into slavery who attempted to thwart adversity in pre-revolutionary America through the use of her wits, Sophia's observations of her life in the New World are told with a satirical edge (the slave ship is named "Salvation," the townspeople can't agree on who are among the "Elect") that made American history come alive for me in 1969 for the first time. Sophia started me on a life in history, which I've realized in sharing her with my daughter.

Katherine Pandora
Associate Professor
History of Science