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Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer



by
Traci Sorell
illustrated by
Natasha Donovan

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Lerner
Imprint
Print
ISBN
9781541579149
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$21.06   $17.55
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Mary Golda Ross designed classified projects for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as the company's first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.Time line, with photographs of Mary Ross. Author’s note. “Four Cherokee Values.” Source notes. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations were created with pencil, ink, and Procreate. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

32

Trim Size

9 1/4" x 11"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

940L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jun 2021

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography, Picture Book

Topics

Mary Golda Ross (1908–2008). Women aerospace engineers. Cherokee Indians. Math and science. Lockheed aircraft. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Mary Golda Ross (1908–2008), a member of the Cherokee Nation, excelled in math from an early age. Although teenage girls “weren’t expected to enjoy or excel in math or science,” Ross began attending college at the age of 16 and became a high school teacher after graduation. ­Embracing Cherokee values, she encouraged her students, especially young Pueblo and Navajo girls, to take advantage of available educational opportunities. In 1942 she took a job at Lockheed Aircraft Company as a mathematical research assistant. In 1950 she became their first female engineer. The company recognized her potential and assigned her to work on top-secret projects related to government space and weapons programs. Donovan, who is Métis, uses elegant cartoon-style illustrations, which are well-matched to the narrative. The artwork helps expand the information included in the text. Using pencil, ink, and Procreate, the layered spreads feature reproductions of blueprints and fragments of notes about Ross’s projects. Sorrell, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, shares her personal perspective about Ross in an author’s note. A time line, bibliography, section of “Four Cherokee Values,” and source notes are included. VERDICT This title spotlights the story of an innovative Cherokee aerospace engineer, whose life sets an inspiring example for all children. Pair it with the picture book version of Margot Lee Shetterly’s ­Hidden Figures.–Lucinda Snyder ­Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s Sch., Richmond, VA

Horn Book

Sorell (We Are Still Here!, rev. 5/21) opens the book with a note on four “Cherokee values” that she uses to frame Ross’s (1908–2008) long life: “Gaining skills in all areas of life (both within and outside the classroom), working cooperatively with others, remaining humble when others recognize your talents, and helping ensure equal education and opportunity for all.” Through realistically cartooned digital illustrations and straightforward text, readers learn how Ross’s experiences reflected these traits. Because she valued learning and had a passion for math, Ross was able to persevere when “the boys refused to sit next to the only girl in math class.” This passion led her to a job as a mathematician for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, where she worked with others to design fighter planes as well as spacecraft. Her most important contribution was encouraging other women and American Indians to become engineers. An appended timeline, an author’s note, source notes, and a bibliography provide more details about Ross’s life and times. Also appended with Sorell’s Four Cherokee Values written using Cherokee syllabary and its transliteration; phonetic pronunciation in English; and English-language translation—features that help to preserve the language for future generations. NICHOLL DENICE MONTGOMERY

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Mary Golda Ross (1908–2008), a member of the Cherokee Nation, excelled in math from an early age. Although teenage girls “weren’t expected to enjoy or excel in math or science,” Ross began attending college at the age of 16 and became a high school teacher after graduation. ­Embracing Cherokee values, she encouraged her students, especially young Pueblo and Navajo girls, to take advantage of available educational opportunities. In 1942 she took a job at Lockheed Aircraft Company as a mathematical research assistant. In 1950 she became their first female engineer. The company recognized her potential and assigned her to work on top-secret projects related to government space and weapons programs. Donovan, who is Métis, uses elegant cartoon-style illustrations, which are well-matched to the narrative. The artwork helps expand the information included in the text. Using pencil, ink, and Procreate, the layered spreads feature reproductions of blueprints and fragments of notes about Ross’s projects. Sorrell, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, shares her personal perspective about Ross in an author’s note. A time line, bibliography, section of “Four Cherokee Values,” and source notes are included. VERDICT This title spotlights the story of an innovative Cherokee aerospace engineer, whose life sets an inspiring example for all children. Pair it with the picture book version of Margot Lee Shetterly’s ­Hidden Figures.–Lucinda Snyder ­Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s Sch., Richmond, VA

Horn Book

Sorell (We Are Still Here!, rev. 5/21) opens the book with a note on four “Cherokee values” that she uses to frame Ross’s (1908–2008) long life: “Gaining skills in all areas of life (both within and outside the classroom), working cooperatively with others, remaining humble when others recognize your talents, and helping ensure equal education and opportunity for all.” Through realistically cartooned digital illustrations and straightforward text, readers learn how Ross’s experiences reflected these traits. Because she valued learning and had a passion for math, Ross was able to persevere when “the boys refused to sit next to the only girl in math class.” This passion led her to a job as a mathematician for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, where she worked with others to design fighter planes as well as spacecraft. Her most important contribution was encouraging other women and American Indians to become engineers. An appended timeline, an author’s note, source notes, and a bibliography provide more details about Ross’s life and times. Also appended with Sorell’s Four Cherokee Values written using Cherokee syllabary and its transliteration; phonetic pronunciation in English; and English-language translation—features that help to preserve the language for future generations. NICHOLL DENICE MONTGOMERY

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