The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly and Winifred Conkling
Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Published by Harper Collins Publishers (2018)
Copy provided by Geauga County Public Library.
“Today we think of computers as machines, but in the 1940s, computers were actual people like Dorothy, Mary, Katherine, and Christine. Their job was to do math.”
From the dust jacket: Katherine, Dorothy, Mary, and Christine were all good at math. Really good. And it was their understanding of numbers that helped them do what seemed impossible. They were women and they were African-American, and they lived during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But Katherine, Dorothy, Mary, and Christine were hardworking and persistent and, most important, smart. And that’s why NASA hired them to do the math that would one day send the United States into space for the very first time.
I watched the film adaptation of Hidden Figures and loved it! I ended up buying Shetterly’s non-fiction book AND the young reader’s edition! Imagine my excitment when I saw the picturebook edition in our library. I love when authors make their work accessible to children.
The picturebook edition of Hidden Figures focused on the struggles that Katherine, Dorothy, Mary, and Christine faced when they worked at NASA. Writers Shetterly and Conkling shared each of their story, highlighting the challenges that they faced and how they had overcome them. A timeline and glossary were included at the end of the book. A more detailed information about each of these “hidden figures” was also provided. This is a good resource material for parents and educators to use!