Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

by Margot Lee Shetterly (Author) Laura Freeman (Illustrator)

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award-nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers!

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math...really good.

They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as "colored computers," and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

"Finally, the extraordinary lives of four African American women who helped NASA put the first men in space is available for picture book readers," proclaims Brightly in their article "18 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018." "Will inspire girls and boys alike to love math, believe in themselves, and reach for the stars."


Kirkus Reviews

An important story to tell about four heroines, one that will lead young readers to the longer, more-nuanced coverage available when they are ready . (Informational picture book. 5-8)

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Shetterly introduces young readers to the inspirational and groundbreaking stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, and their once-hidden contributions to science, aeronautics, and space exploration. Shetterly expertly puts these women's achievements in their historical context: segregation, blatant sexism and racism in the workplace, the civil rights movement, and the space race. Despite the challenges these women faced, they persisted, worked hard, and put a man on the moon. In this picture book take, the text, at times, reads a bit clinical and it's occasionally difficult to distinguish one woman's characteristics from another's while reading. This is remedied with the handy time line of short profiles in the back matter. Freeman's full-color illustrations are stunning and chock-full of details, incorporating diagrams, mathematical formulas, and space motifs throughout (including the women's clothing and jewelry), enhancing the whole book. VERDICT An essential purchase for elementary school and public libraries.--Megan Kilgallen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

In Shetterly and Conkling's approachable text, the reader is introduced to four hidden figures and given a broad look at the United States' history of segregation and fight for civil rights. Freeman's illustrations are striking, featuring bold, fully saturated colors. Feels as fresh as the original. Delightful and informative. —Shelf Awareness
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780062742469
Lexile Measure
980L
Guided Reading Level
U
Publisher
HarperCollins
Publication date
January 20, 2018
Series
-
BISAC categories
JNF018010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JNF007090 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Science & Technology
JNF051010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Technology | Aeronautics, Astronautics & Space Science
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
JNF035000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Mathematics | General
Library of Congress categories
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