Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks

Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks have written a book in Astronauts that is educational, inspirational and entertaining. The narrative is told through the point of view of Mary Cleave, astronaut and Science Mission Directorate as NASA. Astronauts begins by describing the initial push to send women into space, including Valentina Tereshkova in the USSR and Jerrie Cobb and Jane Briggs Hart in the United States. While the Russians saw the advantages to training a female cosmonaut, the Americans encountered blatant sexism as committee after committee came up with reasons to bar them from the training programs. Yet, once Sally Ride and others were admitted they took on key roles and have become an integral part of the space program.

I loved this book! The art. The depth. The science. There were several different arcs in the narrative that created an excellent pacing for the introduction of the main participants in the story. And the detail in these parts of the story is exactly what is needed for young people, all people for that matter, to latch on to this history.  The key to this book is the depth. There is no dumbing down of the science or the story.

Astronauts belongs in all middle and high school libraries. Young women in STEM curriculums will eat this up, and it will bring more young people to science and tech careers. I already talked to the librarian and physics teacher at my school about this book!

Go to Macmillan’s page here to see sample art, ordering info, and author social media contacts.

5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, FirstSecond, and the authors for an advanced copy for review.


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