Seeing the Invisible: The Story of Dr. Irene Uchida


30 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-895642-35-3
DDC j572.8'092





Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom


Children need life stories to understand their world and themselves.
This inspiring story of a woman scientist covers a broad range of
topics, including racism, the effects of World War II on Japanese
Canadians, and the difficulties, challenges, and rewards of a life
devoted to science.

Irene Uchida was born in Vancouver in 1917. In 1942, she was sent with
other Japanese Canadians to an internment camp in the wilds of British
Columbia. There she organized a school and provided leadership. After
the war, she pursued studies in genetics and became a professor of
pediatrics and pathology. As a Canadian pioneer in the new field of
cytogenetics, she has received numerous honors including the Order of
Canada in 1993.

Terry Watada tells her story clearly and warmly, with details that will
help children to understand the unfamiliar worlds of hospitals and
medical laboratories. The format includes basic definitions—set off in
colored boxes—of such terms as genetics, chromosomes, radiation,
cells, and electron microscope. There are excellent photographs and a
selected bibliography. Seeing the Invisible belongs in school libraries
across Canada. Highly recommended.


Watada, Terry., “Seeing the Invisible: The Story of Dr. Irene Uchida,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 21, 2024,