Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus is a novel that is as original and vibrant as its protagonist. Elizabeth Zott is an ambitious and determined scientist living in the early 1960s. Her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality and her career plans are thwarted by discrimination. Elizabeth’s life takes a different turn and she enters the spotlight, where she dares other women to change the status quo.
Here is a Teacher’s Guide for Lessons in Chemistry that includes essential questions, independent and group activities, and resources.
Author Bonnie Garmus discusses the novel:
Praise for Lessons in Chemistry:
“An irresistible buoyancy, along with a deliberately sharp bite. Garmus’s novel focuses on a female scientist whose ambitions are impeded—and then rerouted—by a world not yet ready for her.” —Frank Bruni, The New York Times
“Feminism is the catalyst that makes [Lessons in Chemistry] fizz like hydrochloric acid on limestone. Elizabeth Zott does not have ‘moxie’; she has courage. She is not a ‘girl boss’ or a ‘lady chemist’; she’s a groundbreaker and an expert in abiogenesis. . . . To file Elizabeth Zott among the pink razors of the book world is to miss the sharpness of Garmus’s message. Lessons in Chemistry will make you wonder about all the real-life women born ahead of their time—women who were sidelined, ignored and worse because they weren’t as resourceful, determined and lucky as Elizabeth Zott. She’s a reminder of how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.” —New York Times Book Review