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Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space Hardcover – June 3, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, impressive had earned a newly minted doctorate in physics from Stanford when she applied for the space program, beating out a thousand applicants for the job. Her focus was on her work and that dedication led to all of her successes. Published originally for the adult market, this audiobook will light a spark in girls who do not yet know that the sky is literally their limit. Ride spent much of her post-NASA years encouraging young women to study math and science. Written by Ride's close friend, news commentator Lynn Sherr, this is an objective look at the astronaut's complex life with all of her strengths and her shortcomings. Ride kept her lesbian relationship with partner Tam O'Shaughnessy hidden from the public. Even close friends, including Sherr, were surprised by its revelation in her obituary. While listeners will never know Ride's reasons for keeping her sexual orientation private, this biography will inspire young women who have grand ideas by knowing that this woman let nothing stand in her way. Pam Ward's narration is straightforward, objective, and suits the book beautifully.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When her unexpected death from cancer was announced in 2012, the national outpouring of grief over the loss of Sally Ride was swift and genuine. The subsequent obituary revelation that Ride was a lesbian in a committed relationship for more than a quarter-century was proof of how successfully the icon had guarded her personal life. With the full cooperation of Ride’s family and friends, both inside and outside of NASA (including ex-husband and fellow astronaut Steve Hawley), author Sherr pores over Ride’s life, from her tennis-star childhood to her college years in the male-dominated field of physics and meteoric rise as America’s first woman in space. As familiar as readers believe themselves to be with Ride’s story, Sherr has done an impressive job of uncovering the pressures (and sometimes comical missteps) of NASA’s macho culture and its approach to the first class of women astronauts, the unparalleled commitment Ride brought to her job, and the zeal with which she embraced her later challenge to broaden science opportunities for girls. This is an intimate and enormously appealing biography of a fascinating woman, a triumph of research and sensitivity that lives up to its subject and will likely move readers to tears in its final, poignant pages. --Colleen Mondor
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476725764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476725765
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sherrill McCullough Davis on June 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am not an unbiased reviewer as I knew Sally during a brief, relatively insignificant period of her life. I think this book captures Sally really well - her personality and character are as I remember, even her comments and quips had me nodding and smiling. It's very moving and very sad in the end. But this book is really about more than just Sally. It's an engaging history of NASA, the space program with its highs and lows, its successes and failures, with a great deal of inside perspective not only from Sally. It's a story of a woman making her way in a "man's world" during times when that was very unusual, and doing so not only successfully for herself but that also inspired, supported, and paved the way for others. It's a tale of someone who believed passionately (overused as that term is) in science and the need to inspire and encourage girls and women to pursue careers in it. Though thrust into it, Sally played her roles brilliantly, while remaining true to who she was. Read this book if you're simply curious about Sally - you'll learn a lot about her. But it's worth reading for the other, less personal reasons, too. Engaging.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Rick Hauck on June 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Lynn Sherr has done us a great service - telling Sally's story with great insight and style. The Sally Ride I knew was energetic, playful, persistent, brilliant - and a great crewmate. Any of the "original six" would have excelled as the "first American woman", but NASA got it right when she was chosen. And Lynn Sherr unerringly tells us why.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By AReader on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a book I never thought I would see - certainly a book that never would have been written by Sally Ride herself, or published during her lifetime. An intensely private person, there are stories here that could never have been told until now. Other books written about someone after they pass away can suffer from having no access to the subject. This book, written by someone who knew her as well as anyone was allowed to, offers a great deal of personal insight, and greatly benefits from first-hand access to her papers, plus her closest friends and family. Unlike many authorized and family-approved books, it does not flinch from describing the positive and negative sides of a complex personality who didn't please everyone she came in contact with. It's an honest, intensely readable and deeply fascinating book. And as all those who knew and worked with Sally Ride that I have heard from have said - this book really nails it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Leesa on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
It's impossible to sum up a life in one book... there are always more stories to tell. However, Lynn Sherr provides a lot of insight. The book starts with what Sally's true legacy is: the next generation, and a young girl appropriately named Genesis. I had the privilege of working with Sally and from my perspective, it is well done. I couldn't put the book down, although I slowed at the end. It was hard, since I already knew how it ends. Way too soon.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By easyreader on June 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just reread the book and have a different opinion the second time around. Originally, I gave it three stars, and I have just added another star. There is a lot of information about Sally Ride, the amazing woman who was the first American of her gender in space. This was a deeply-felt account of Sally's life, written by Lynn Sherr, a journalist who became Sally's friend. The passages about Sally's relationships with her ex-husband Steve Hawley, her sister Bear, her mother Joyce, and, especially, with Tam O'Shaughnessy, her life partner, are deeply moving. Sherr gets a little long-winded in the ending chapters. I think she might have been so awed by Sally Ride's greatness (and so saddened by her death) that she was still searching to find the right note on which to end. Still,it was a very competently-written, very informative, and very touching, biography. How wonderful for us to have had Sally Ride on our planet for sixty-one amazing years, and what a loss that she is no longer with us! Lynn Sherr has let us know just how much we have lost.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Barbara M. Barrett on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sally Ride’s name and accomplishments have grabbed worldwide attention for generations, yet she rarely offered any more details than what was in the headlines. Finally, with the release of SALLY RIDE: America’s First Woman in Space, we have insight into this pioneer’s story. Already celebrated, we now have new reasons to cherish Sally, an American icon who devoted her life to expanding knowledge. The reader meets the true Sally Ride: composed of intellect, grit, compassion and humor. Lynn Sherr’s account of Sally’s brave story is comprehensive and intimate, bringing to Earth a woman who blazed so many trails when she dared to reach for the stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cloe Logan on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Nobody could have written a better life story of the first woman in space than Lynn Sherr. Sally was brave, strong, open, and closed, a fearless role model in her professional life and a careful woman in her private life. There is so much in this intimate and elegantly written book that none of us ever knew. What a story. Read to yourself. Buy for a friend. Pass along this historic figure and this personal heroine. A must read....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Penny Thoughtful on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Sally Ride was one of my childhood heroes, so I would have struggled through any biography, but this one is particularly wonderful. Whether it's getting photobombed by Martin Luther King III or cracking jokes about heaven with her Presbyterian minister sister, Ride lived an unusual life, chronicled here by a longtime personal friend and professional writer. Highly recommended.
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