To Boldly Go: How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Helped Advance Civil Rights

by Angela Dalton (Author) Lauren Semmer (Illustrator)

To Boldly Go: How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Helped Advance Civil Rights
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Mae Among the Stars! To Boldly Go tells the true story of Nichelle Nichols and how she used her platform on Star Trek to inspire and recruit a new generation of diverse astronauts and many others in the space and STEM fields.

As Lieutenant Uhura on the iconic prime-time television show Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols played the first Black female astronaut anyone had ever seen on screen. A smart, strong, independent Black woman aboard the starship Enterprise was revolutionary in the 1960s when only white men had traveled to outer space in real life and most Black characters on TV were servants.

Nichelle not only inspired a generation to pursue their dreams, but also opened the door for the real-life pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, Dr. Mae Jemison, and more.

This empowering tribute to the trailblazing pop culture icon reminds us of the importance of perseverance and the power of representation in storytelling. You just might be inspired to boldly go where no one like you has ever gone before!

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Kirkus Reviews

Well-deserved notice.

Publishers Weekly

Narrated from the perspective of a Black Star Trek viewer looking back on their childhood, this tribute to Nichelle Nichols (1932-2022) begins with the child's family tuning in to Star Trek, proud to view Nichols's Lieutenant Uhura, "someone who looked like us standing as an equal to make the future better for everyone." While the fight for civil rights raged, Dalton writes, Nichols worked with Star Trek's creator to make Uhura a reality that "represented how she saw herself: strong, independent, equal." But Uhura was often underutilized, and Nichols planned to leave the show until meeting an unexpected fan, Martin Luther King Jr., who urged her to consider her influence. Unlined digital illustrations by Semmer focus on portraits of the subject working "to boldly go.../ to make the future better for everyone." Back matter includes an author's note, and describes Nichols's post-Star Trek work to help NASA connect with "women and minoritized astronaut candidates." Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
January 17, 2023
BISAC categories
JNF025210 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/20th Century
JNF007060 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Performing Arts
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
Library of Congress categories
African Americans
United States
Civil rights movements
20th century
African American women
Race relations
Popular culture
Nichols, Nichelle
Uhura, Nyota
Black people on television
Race relations on television
Freedom of movement
Women on television

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