Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

By: Jim Ottaviani

Illustrator: Maris Wicks

America may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. Meanwhile, in the United States, NASA’s first female astronauts were racing toward milestones of their own. These trail-blazing women were admitted into Group 9, NASA’s first mixedgender class. They had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman’s place is in space. But once they’d been admitted into the training program, they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for all humans.

In Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier, Jim Ottaviani and illustrator Maris Wicks capture the great humor and incredible drive of Mary Cleve, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first women in space.

Author’s note. References and bibliography. Development sketches. Full-color photographs and illustrations penciled digitally, inked with pen, and then colored digitally.

Author’s note. References and bibliography. Development sketches. Full-color photographs and illustrations penciled digitally, inked with pen, and then colored digitally.

ISBN: 9781626728776

JLG Release: Apr 2020


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: Women astronauts , History of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) , Space exploration , Technology

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, Booklist*, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Focusing on the space race through the eyes of the women who made it possible, Ottaviani and Wicks, the creative team behind Primates, return with another accurate, informative, people-focused historical account. Narrator Mary Cleave, a former American astronaut, introduces readers to influential women such as Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman Focusing on the space race through the eyes of the women who made it possible, Ottaviani and Wicks, the creative team behind Primates, return with another accurate, informative, people-focused historical account. Narrator Mary Cleave, a former American astronaut, introduces readers to influential women such as Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space; engineer Dottie Lee, who worked on the Apollo space shield; and aviator Jerrie Cobb, who, as part of the Mercury 13, endured the same physiological and psychological evaluation as astronauts aboard the Mercury Seven. The nonlinear storytelling can be challenging at times, as the plot leaps across years and countries with minimal flagging for the reader. The clever use of a faux Cyrillic font, however, makes it easy to tell when characters are Russian. The artwork is cartoonish and appealing. Though the book includes details that make the subject accessible (one scene discusses the number of tampons needed by female astronauts), technical complexity is never oversimplified. Readers will be intrigued and inspired to dive into further research to understand some of the jargon and learn more about the women profiled here. Fans of Ottaviani’s T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, as well as those interested in science or space travel, will eagerly gravitate to this title. A stellar addition to all collections.

Horn Book

At the attention-grabbing start of Ottaviani and Wick's second graphic collaboration (Primates, rev. 5/13), a series of panels shows a "famous atronaut" (gender intentionally obscured) shedding gear one item at a time until only stark white long johns remain. With a page-turn, readers meet (female) ex-atronaut Mary Cleave, who drolly admits At the attention-grabbing start of Ottaviani and Wick's second graphic collaboration (Primates, rev. 5/13), a series of panels shows a "famous atronaut" (gender intentionally obscured) shedding gear one item at a time until only stark white long johns remain. With a page-turn, readers meet (female) ex-atronaut Mary Cleave, who drolly admits that she's "maybe not so famous." But she gets the spotlight here—and the narrative reins, too—in a dense and riveting biography that not only tracks Cleave's path to NASA's Group 9 (the second astronaut class to include women) but also weaves in the voices of many trailblazers: Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviert cosmonaut and the first woman in space; the Mercury 13, theirteen American women who passed the same rigorous physical tests given to male astronaut candidates; and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. A well-researched and lively text and tidily composed yet expressive illustrations captre the women's passion, ambition, and know-how—and their indignation and fury at the sexism they faced. Inspirational and funny ("That was Sally's ride") and full of nitty-gritty scientific details about astronaut training and life and work aboard a space shuttle, the book illuminates the women's tough journey to prove that "space is for everyone." Back matter includes an author's note (addressing composite characters and invented dialogue), a bibliography, a how-this-book-was-made spread, and character sketches.

Book Details

ISBN

9781626728776

First Release

April 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

629.45

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 6"

Page Count

176

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.4; Points: 3;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

First Second

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

Women astronauts, History of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Space exploration, Technology,

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