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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

Rachel Dougherty

Roaring Brook Press


On a warm spring day in 1883, a woman rode across the Brooklyn Bridge with a rooster on her lap.

It was the first trip across an engineering marvel that had taken nearly fourteen years to construct. The woman's husband was the chief engineer, and he knew all about the dangerous new technique involved. The woman insisted she learn as well.

When he fell ill mid-construction, her knowledge came in handy. She supervised every aspect of the project while he was bedridden, and she continued to learn about things only men were supposed to know:


Women weren't supposed to be engineers.

But this woman insisted she could do it all, and her hard work helped to create one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

This is the story of Emily Roebling, the secret engineer behind the Brooklyn Bridge, from author-illustrator Rachel Dougherty.

Praise for Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

"Dougherty's lively narration of the events provides readers with an accessible, factual account of a remarkable woman's accomplishments...Inspiring."—Kirkus Reviews

"Dougherty's illustrations are bright and communicative, patiently illustrating the science behind the bridge's construction. Particularly delightful are the sprawling double-page spreads of the bridge's final stages, which seem to grow grander and more imposing as young Emily finds her footing and confidence. A bittersweet, stirring tale of a woman ahead of her time, with substantial back matter and a glossary for budding engineers."—Booklist

" An excellent choice for libraries looking to strengthen picture book biography collections about women in STEM."—School Library Journal


Reviews from Goodreads

Rachel Dougherty

Rachel Dougherty is the illustrator of such nonfiction picture books as Your Life as a Cabin Attendant on the Titanic, Your Life as a Pioneer on the Oregon Trail, and The Twelve Days of Christmas in Pennsylvania. She is a lifelong history buff and has always paid special attention to brave and commanding women. Secret Engineer is the first picture book she has both written and illustrated. She lives in Philadelphia.


Roaring Brook Press

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