Dancing Through Space: Dr. Mae Jemison Soars to New Heights

by Lydia Lukidis (Author) Sawyer Cloud (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
The true story of Dr. Mae Jemison, whose lifelong passions of science and dance prepared her to become a trailblazing astronaut.

Today, Dr. Mae Jemison is famous for being the first Black woman to travel into outer space. But when she was growing up, she felt torn between two passions: science and dance. It seemed like an impossible choice. There had to be some way to make room for both―and Mae found one. As an adult, she combined her gifts of scientific logic and artistic creativity and became an astronaut.
Select format:

Kirkus Reviews

A quick but lyrical character study.

Publishers Weekly

The sky proves no limit in Lukidis's encouraging biography of Black female astronaut Mae Jemison (b. 1956). Facing pages use mirroring prose to showcase the figure's twin loves--science and dance--as she pursues each, first with youthful passion and then with adult discipline. Through the study of science, Jemison develops "courage" and her mind becomes "strong and sharp." Meanwhile, dance offers lessons in "determination," and shapes her body so that it's "strong and muscular." Undergraduate studies in chemical engineering (where Jemison is one of only a few women and there are "none who looked like her") lead her to medical school. Early interest in space inspires her to apply to NASA's highly competitive astronaut training program, and despite an initial setback, she soon "danced through space." Mapped closely to text, Cloud's unlined renderings picture the subject studying and dancing with satisfying emotion as an uncomplicated portrait of Jemison emerges. An author's note and timeline conclude. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Albert Whitman & Company
Publication date
April 04, 2024
BISAC categories
JNF007090 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Science & Technology
JNF051010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Technology | Aeronautics, Astronautics & Space Science
JNF039020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Performing Arts | Dance
Library of Congress categories

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!