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Starred Review. Grade 5–7—Stone adopts a tone of righteous indignation in chronicling the quixotic efforts of 13 women to win admission into NASA's initial astronaut training program in the early 1960s. The women were all pilots (one, Jerrie Cobb, had more hours in the air than John Glenn or Scott Carpenter), earned high scores in preliminary tests, and even counted a senator's wife among their number. But resistance came from all directions—including NASA regulations, which were weighted toward men; media coverage that reflected contemporary gender expectations; political maneuvering by then vice president LBJ and other officials; and the crushing opposition expressed by renowned aviatrix Jackie Cochran in a 1962 Congressional hearing. Properly noting, however, that losing "depends on where you draw the finish line," the author closes with chapters on how women did ultimately win their way into space—not only as mission specialists, but also as pilots and commanders. Illustrated with sheaves of photos, and based on published sources, recently discovered documents, and original interviews with surviving members of the "Mercury 13," this passionately written account of a classic but little-known challenge to established gender prejudices also introduces readers to a select group of courageous, independent women.—John Peters, New York Public Library
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“Space gals. Astronettes. Astrodolls . . . Who do these women think they are?” The media mocked them. Male astronauts did not want them, and neither did then vice-president Lyndon Johnson. If they were to let women into the space program, blacks and other minorities would be next. Nearly 20 years before the U.S. officially admitted women into the astronaut program, 13 women, known as the Mercury 13, fought for the right to soar into space. This dramatic, large-size photo-essay covers their stories, along with the exciting politics of the women’s liberation struggle in the 1950s and ’60s (“What is a woman’s place?”) and the breakthrough science and technology surrounding space exploration, including details of the would-be astronauts’ tests and training. The chatty, immediate style (“Picture this”) and full-page photos make for a fast read, and the crucial civil-rights history will stay with readers. The long, spacious back matter is part of the story, with detailed chapter notes and a bibliography. Grades 5-8. --Hazel RochmanSee all Editorial Reviews
bought this for book report my 11 year old daughter had to do. She loved it..Published 9 months ago by Ken in WA
I haven't read the content yet, but it doesn't look as visually interesting and captivating as other award winning nonfiction I have read, especially about space and also about... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Morganne Hiatt
Interesting.could have used more pictures but overall very informativePublished 12 months ago by ll
What a great, disturbing event in our history about the 13 wonderful women who were pilots and wanted to be the first female astronauts of the NASA program in the 1960s. Read morePublished 14 months ago by B. J. Neary
It was a summer reading for my son, it arrives on time, and it looks like new. I did a good dealPublished on July 24, 2013 by Arturo Jallath
This book is well written and researched, and offers accurate historical perspective.
Ms. Stone accurately portrays attitudes of the era of which she writes. Read more
`Almost Astronauts' is an informational chapter book geared towards children, detailing the dream thirteen women dared to dream... to journey to space. Read morePublished on November 26, 2012 by Jenna
This book was a type of informational book and showed how smart and intelligent women were and are in the space program. Read morePublished on November 25, 2012 by Melissa Lopez