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Almost Astronauts : : 13 Women who Dared to Dream

Stone, Tanya Lee. Book - 2009 J 629.45 St None on shelf No requests on this item Community Rating: 5 out of 5

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Downtown Kids Books J 629.45 St Downtown Library Due 05-24-2021

"The true story of the "Mercury 13" women"-Cover.
"T minus thirty-eight years" -- "I jumped at the offer" -- "Not a meaningful test!" -- "Mommy's going to the moon!" -- "It was too good to be true" -- "Regret to advise" -- "Let's stop this now!" -- "Jerrie Cobb isn't running this program. I am!" -- "The men go off and fight the wars and fly the airplanes" -- "NASA never had any intention of putting those women in space" -- "We want to see a woman driving the bus, not sitting in the back" -- "I am living proof that dreams do come true."
What does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape, any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was another unspoken rule: you had to be a man. Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules. Almost Astronauts is the story of thirteen true pioneers of the space age.


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Recommended submitted by klickitat on August 6, 2012, 9:30am Winner of the 2010 Sibert Informational Book Medal, Almost Astronauts tells the little known story of the "Mercury 13," a group of aspiring female astronauts in the early 1960s who passed the same physical and psychological tests as their male peers but were shut out of the NASA space program because of their gender. The book's final chapter discusses the victories that women have achieved since the 1960s, in large part because of the example of the Mercury 13. Astronauts is the first juvenile book to be published on the subject, although Martha Ackmann's The Mercury 13, was published in 2003 for the adult market.

With an engaging narrative and images on nearly every page, Astronauts is sure to appeal to kids. Stone makes an effort to place the sexism that the Mercury 13 faced in its historical context so that today's children will understand how it is possible that qualified people were denied their dreams. Astronauts would be a wonderful choice for a book report or class project. An author's note, list of further reading, sources, footnotes, and index are present. Although the intended audience is young girls, children of both genders who exceed in math and science will be inspired by the perseverance of the Mercury 13 women. If the book has one flaw, it's Stone's overzealous tone that often lapses too close to "girl power" for comfort. It is evident that Stone is passionate about her subject matter but I wish she had given her reader more credit; she often reiterates her thesis so blatantly her writing verges on parody. Still, the Mercury 13 are a powerful example for kids and this title is recommended.

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Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009.
Year Published: 2009
Description: 133 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


Project Mercury (U.S.) -- History.
Women astronauts -- Biography.
Women astronauts -- History -- 20th century.
Sex discrimination against women -- History -- 20th century.