professornana (professornana) wrote,

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almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right?

ALMOST ASTRONAUTS: 13 WOMEN WHO DARED TO DREAM by Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick, 2009)is a book that will raise your dander, I think. I know I certainly became enraged when I read about the women who endured all sorts of testing to prove that women could be astronauts just as the Mercury 7 guys were being paraded as having the "right stuff." Jerrie Cobb, Jane Hart, Jean Hixson and others completed and passed the tests in may cases surpassing their male counterparts' results. Despite their appearance before a Congressional hearing and letters written on their behalf, the women were basically told that it was not their time. Makes the feminist in me want to do something. So, what I did was tell my husband (he did not know any of this either) and the 16 year old resident of the back bedroom. And I plan to tell anyone else who will listen about this incredible work of nonfiction by Stone. Seamlessly weaving the stories of Cobb and the other women into the tapestry of the era (the 60s and 70s), using popular culture to help explain the challenges these women faced, and pulling readers into the story of the Mercury 13: this book is certain to be an important addition to school and public library collections. It is also a book to be read and savored, I think.
Tags: biography, nasa, women in space
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