Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race, picture book by Margot Lee Shetterly and‎ Laura Freeman (ages 6-9)

The movie Hidden Figures was inspiring, and I'm happy to be able to share the story of these impressive mathematicians with a younger audience. This picture book gives young readers a clear understanding of these women's contributions, within the framework of the time period. Striking illustrations and brief, compelling text make this a terrific choice to read aloud.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrated by‎ Laura Freeman
HarperCollins, 2018
Amazon / your local library
ages 6-9
Based on the popular book and movie, this picture book recounts the true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space using their mathematical analysis, persistence and hard work.

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden used their mathematical skills to help NASA send astronauts into space. And they did so during a time when there were great prejudices against women and African Americans.
"Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good."
Margot Lee Shetterly, the author who wrote the original book Hidden Figures, collaborated with Winifred Conkling to write an accessible, focused text. They bring young readers through the main achievements of these women, focusing on how they used their mathematical skills to solve important problems.
"Katherine wanted to help the group prepare its research reports, so she asked if she could go to meetings with the other experts on her team. Her boss told her it was impossible."
Laura Freeman's illustrations draw readers into the scene using bold colors and focusing on the women's experiences. The illustrated timeline in the back is especially engaging and helpful for young readers. A "Meet the Computers" provides more information on each of the four women featured, allowing students a way into learning more.

This picture book goes beyond just being a tie-in with the movie. Seek it out to share with young children who are interested in inspiring figures, but not ready for the whole movie.

Illustrations copyright ©2018 Laura Freeman, shared by permission of the publisher. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, HarperCollins. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2018 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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