Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 7, 2020

Book Giveaway: MY SUPER SCIENCE HEROES by Karla Valenti

Karla Valenti has a new picture book, MY SUPER SCIENCE HEROES: MARIE CURIE AND THE POWER OF PERSISTENCE, illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli and published by Sourcebooks Explore. Karla has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Kala and Annalisa, especially at this stressful time when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Meet Marie Curie. Famous physicist, chemist, and… superhero?

What if superheroes didn’t have supernatural powers but instead were humans with amazing brain power? What if superheroes were scientists?

Super Evil Nemesis is determined to stop Marie Curie and the spread of knowledge. When he sends one of his craftiest minions on a mission to try all the tricks he knows, Marie Curie must use her brains and will to fight against all the obstacles that come her way. But is it enough?

Can she prevent Super Evil Nemesis from taking over the world? Does she have the power to become one of the most influential scientists in history? Only time will tell…

This first book in the My Super Science Heroes series uses a fictionalized storytelling approach to teach readers about Curie’s amazing achievements, and is sure to empower them to become superheroes themselves!

Includes a scientific glossary and detailed information on Marie Curie’s scientific accomplishments.

Published in partnership with the Marie Curie Alumni Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promote research and curiosity and to enhance research and professional collaboration.


Thank you Kathleen for giving me a space to share a bit about Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence, the first book in the My Super Science Heroes series.

When asked to describe what this book is about, I could say it’s a about a remarkable woman, or a famous scientist, or an inspired dreamer.  All of those are true, of course, but this is really a book about power – Marie Curie’s, mine, and the readers.

  1. Let’s start with Marie Curie.

In The Power of Persistence, we tell the story of Marie Curie and how she faced off against traditional social paradigms of what it meant to be a woman, a scientists, and a person with power (or not).

Time and again, throughout her life, Marie met with opposition (in the book represented by the aptly-named character, Mr. Opposition). These limitations arose from poverty, the fact that she was a woman in a male-dominated society, and the lack of resources and opportunities available to her. Nevertheless, despite these limitations, Marie persisted in pursuing her dreams… again and again and again.

It’s easy to look at Marie Curie’s life and focus only on the final accomplishments that earned her two Nobel prizes and a place in the history books. However, in The Power of Persistence we didn’t want to focus on what Marie achieved. Rather, we wanted to celebrate the how.

Marie was not born into or granted a position that enabled her to easily achieve her goals. But that did not mean she was powerless to pursue them. Indeed, this is a story about how persistence is its own power – a super power!

Relying on super hero tropes, Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence takes readers on a scientific adventure conveying key facts and information about this remarkable woman, but showing readers how Marie used her power of persistence to battle Mr. Opposition (and ultimately succeed as she did).

  1. But this is also a story of the power of an author.

Just like Marie pushed back against the social narrative that defined her, The Power of Persistence pushes back against narrative structures that dictate how we tell a story about certain characters; what genres authors need to use for certain themes or topics.

I was hesitant at first, to write a book about Marie Curie, casting her as a super hero. I worried that fans would demand her story be told like all other historical figures, in a traditional non-fiction story structure. But why must she be constrained to one narrative type or genre? Why can’t a remarkable and powerful woman be deemed a super hero?

Taking inspiration from Marie and her empowerment, I decided to give her story a different format and setting in which to unfold, breaking with traditional picture book paradigms of what it means to tell a story about a historical figure. Thus was created the My Super Science Heroes series.

  1. Which brings me to the reader’s empowerment.

Like Marie Curie and I, everyone has a choice as to which “story” we choose to tell about ourselves and the things we care about. With The Power of Persistence we wanted to show readers that they don’t have to be defined by their awards and accomplishments; they have the power to shape their own personal life narratives

This matters because quite often, young (and old) readers think they are not “good at science” or that they need to be brilliant to succeed at their endeavors. By reframing Marie Curie’s story as one about her traits as opposed to her accomplishments, we show readers that their story too can be reframed as anything they choose to focus on.

  1. There is actually one more form of power that this book captures – the power of collaboration.

This book and the My Super Science Heroes series is the result of a wonderful collaboration between a great many people. It started when I won a bid to write a story for the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA,  a global community of scientists and researchers). They wanted to publish a book about Marie Curie, but one that would excite young readers to delve into STEM, especially those intimidated by science.

I submitted the proposal for My Super Science Heroes and they loved it. We began working together to identify the best illustrator for the project: the very talented, Annalisa Beghelli.

Annalisa and I shared many thoughts about the concept and best ways to convey the deeper ideas we wanted to express. We communicated often and extensively with MCAA to not only capture Marie Curie’s life accurately, but also be true to the overall objectives of the scientific community with whom we were working.

The book initially was going to be published as a crowdsourced initiative, but before the campaign was over, the book had caught the attention of Kelly Barrales-Saylor and Sourcebooks. They soon signed on to be our partners in bringing this book and the series to life.

Finally, and most importantly, none of this would have been possible without the hundreds of backers and fans who generously supported this project and have continued to help us spread the word about this book, including you!

And so, here we are. I’m delighted that Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence will be out in the world on April 7th. This project has been in the works for over three years, and we are immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished. We hope to inspire many readers to draw on their own super powers and join our community of Super Science Heroes.

PSST: guess what? Book 2 in the series is coming out in January 2021. This one will highlight Alan Turin’s Power of Curiosity and how that helped him battle his minion, Miss Enigma.


Karla was born and grew up in Mexico city. Since then she’s lived in a number of places I have come to call home: the U.S., Japan, France, and most recently Germany. She currently lives in the Chicagoland area where she keeps herself busy with lots of words and big ideas (both in her job as a lawyer and author).

Her writerly self focuses on picture books and middle grade novels. She offers a Master Course on Picture Book Writing and Editing and Picture Book critique services.

Karla is proud to be a part of the wonderful collective of Latinx writers and illustrators, Las Musas. Her amazing agent is Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Find her on Facebook or Twitter. Send her an email.

Karla, Thank you for sharing your book and its journey with us. I love how Guy combined your well research text with such fun art. kids’s will love this book and it will make it easy for teachers to use it in their classrooms. Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congrats on your book birthday, Karla! (I’m signed up for emails, too.)


  2. Wow. I’m excited for the format and the art. It’s inspiring to see such an interesting and unique book. Congratulations!


  3. What a clever spin on the genre! Kudos!


  4. I would LOVE to win this book since I have an idea for a pb about a scientist. Shared on Pinterest, FB, and twitter, and follow your blog! It looks like a terrific book–with wonderful illustrations !


  5. The scientist as superhero idea is a great one. Thanks for the chance to win this book.
    I’ve pinned an image on Pinterest:, and tweeted a link too:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, let’s all stay home and wash our hands.


  6. What a wonderful concept for a picture book series! I love the idea of showing people who made great contributions related to STEM as super heroes.

    I enjoy receiving this blog daily. I am sharing this post on Facebook.


  7. Love this idea! Can’t wait to read your book. It looks fun, clever, and informative! Congratulations!

    I receive this blog in my email and I will share on Twitter. 🙂


  8. The illustrations and layout of this picture book look great. Congratulations! (Shared on Twitter and receive your emails)


  9. WOW — what a fab book! I have a kindle version but a physical one to share with my class would be great too! Kathy – I receive your e-mails. Good luck with this book!


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