Hidden Figures: Female Heroes who Fought Race in the Space Race

 If you celebrate Black History or Women's History months with your students, you might want to make sure Hidden Figures is on your shelf.  

rocket ship taking off, reference to Hidden Figures, nonfiction book about 4 women heroes

Not only does it tell about the history of NASA (from the days when it was NACA) but it describes the mind-blowing math that needed to be done, checked, and cross-checked, to make ginormous metal objects lift off the ground and stay in the air.

These math "computers", primarily women who did math all day long, are the reason NASA was able to send astronauts into space.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is the true story of four of these women, women who worked at a time when most women stayed home.  It is the story of civil rights, the Space Race, the Cold War, and gender rights. Powerfully told from their point of view, its honesty and action will capture the interest of many students.  

One of the things that I respect about this book is that it introduces you to African American women who aren't as well known as others.  It's helpful for us to get beyond the more familiar names to see that we've always been keeping company with smart women of color.

  • Are you interested in reading this book with your class?  It's easy to do as a read-aloud, a whole class book study, or with literature circles.  Click here to take a closer look at the study guide.

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