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Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures (Women of Action) Hardcover – February 1, 2014


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Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures (Women of Action) + Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers (Women of Action)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Women of Action
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (February 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613748442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613748442
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7–10—In the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States, the first woman in space was the Soviet, Valentina Tereshkova, in 1963. America's first female astronaut, Sally Ride, went into space in 1983. This book details the stories of 19 others from across the globe who overcame obstacles of prejudice to fly in space. They include four Soviet women, Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar, Japanese doctor Chiaki Mukai, French astronaut Claude Andre-Deshays Haignere, and Yi Soyeon, the first Korean in space. The story of the Mercury 13 is fascinating; 15 women were selected by NASA in the late 1950s. Successful pilots and scientists, they trained, as did the (male) crew of the Mercury 7, but then were not allowed to travel. Each chapter contains photographs and "Learn More" suggested readings. Sidebars are scattered throughout the book. This volume is a companion to the author's Women Aviators (Chicago Review, 2013) and an important addition to women's-history collections.—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel

From Booklist

Gibson follows up Women Aviators (2013) with a similar, international gallery of pioneering women who reached for the stars (or, in the notorious case of the Mercury 13, were deliberately prevented from doing so). As in the previous title, she incorporates thorough research and a strong feminist message into her accounts, covering her subjects’ specific accomplishments on earth and in space, while also surveying the general history of space flight and astronaut training with a special focus on the gender prejudice that had to be battled and (mostly) overcome. Along with the usual suspects, such as Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, there are many lesser-known women, from Svetlana Savitskaya (the second Russian woman in space) to Kalpana Chawla, who died aboard the space shuttle Columbia, and a number of other women from a variety of countries. This illuminating gathering of role models is also bolstered with sheaves of source notes and useful references to further resources. Grades 6-9. --John Peters

More About the Author

Karen Bush Gibson is the author 30+ non-fiction books for children, including the new "Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions and Gravity-Breaking Adventures," her second from the Chicago Review Press Women of Courage Series. The first was "Women Aviators," chosen by Air & Space Smithsonian as one of the Best Children's Books of 2013. Gibson is also the author of an adult mystery, "A Class on Murder" (as K.B. Gibson), the first in the Ronnie Raven series. She is a member of Sisters of Crime, Inc., Mystery Writers of America, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Inc., and Oklahoma Writer's Federation.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Whatwillshereadnext on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
So I’ve been on a space kick lately, reading a LOT of books about space and astronauts. In my hunt this book, Women in Space: 23 stories of first flights, scientific missions, and gravity-breaking adventures by Karen Bush Gibson, really caught my attention, I never knew that there were women being tested for the Mercury space program. I never knew the Soviets launched a woman into space before the US did. This book is in the teen section at my local library but I’d recommend it for anyone 4th grade and up, maybe even lower depending on their reading level.

This book first talks about the Mercury 13, women who underwent all of the same tests as the male Mercury 7 astronauts. Each of these women was an accomplished pilot. They underwent the tests often completing them with better results than the male astronauts but were not allowed to be part of the program. One was made a “NASA consultant” that was almost never consulted. When the women tried to get changes made allowing them to be part of the program, appealing to then Vice President Lyndon Johnson who as a Senator had fought for the space program they were rejected. One reports that when she spoke to Johnson about it he told her “We can’t let you into space, if we did we’d have to let the Blacks go to space, and then the Mexican Americans, all the minorities would want to go.” Now this is obviously a secondhand quote but WOW. I realize this was before the Civil Rights Movement really got underway and made a difference but to hear that these words came from a man that would soon be President of the United States is seriously disconcerting.

The book continues with stories of four female Soviet Cosmonauts, two of which went to space before the first American woman.
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By ellison on July 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Begins with the story of The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight and these 13 women's attempt to join the space program. But, due to fear by men and concern for menstruation and its impact upon decision making they were declined.

Meanwhile, in Russia they sent some women up. A list of the 55 women to date who have been to space and list of space shuttle names. Each of the female Russian Cosmonauts have a short insightful biography and a photo.

From there are short biographies of the American women and a photo followed by other women from around the world who have had a chance.

Mentions that a Space Shuttle flight would cost $450 million, seats to space cost $20 million.

Includes a glossary and index. Insightful.
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