Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks
America may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. Meanwhile, in the United States, NASA’s first female astronauts were racing toward milestones of their own. These trail-blazing women were admitted into Group 9, NASA’s first mixed-gender class. They had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman’s place is in space. But once they’d been admitted into the training program, they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for all humans.
In Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier, Jim Ottaviani and illustrator Maris Wicks capture the great humour and incredible drive of Mary Cleve, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first women in space.
A well-researched and lively text and tidily composed yet expressive illustrations capture the women’s passion, ambition, and know-how–and their indignation and fury at the sexism they faced. Inspirational and funny (“That was Sally’s ride”) and full of nitty-gritty scientific details about astronaut training and life and work abroad a space shuttle, the book illuminates the women’s tough journey to prove that “space is for everyone.”–Horn Book, starred review
Readers will be intrigued and inspired to dive into further research to understand some of the jargon and learn more about the women profiled here. Fans of Ottaviani’s T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, as well as those interested in science or space travel, will eagerly gravitate to this title. A stellar addition to all collections.–The School Library Journal, starred review
With plenty of eye-rolling takes on male-designed spacecraft faux pas and enthusiastic crew reveling in flight adventures, Ottaviani and Wicks drive home the message that it’s all about teamwork, and no team can function without diverse members.–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Exhilarating–as well as hilarious, enraging, or both at once depending on the reader. –Kirkus, Starred Review
Wicks and Ottaviani skillfully capture Cleave’s infectious enthusiasm up to the last page. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Gobs of humor, lively artwork, and tidy explanations of the science make this a standout among the vast field of books about the U.S. space program. –Booklist, Starred Review
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