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Blast Off!: How Mary Sherman Morgan Fueled America into Space



by
Suzanne Slade
illustrated by
Sally Wern Comport

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Astra House Publishing
Imprint
Calkins Creek
ISBN
9781684372416
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Sexism
$23.17   $19.31
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The inspirational story of Mary Sherman, the world’s first female rocket scientist, who overcame gender barriers and many failures to succeed.

Growing up in the 1920s on a dirt-poor farm in North Dakota, Mary Sherman’s life was filled with chores—until she finally began school and discovered she loved to learn.

Mary excelled at science, especially chemistry, and leaped at the chance to work in a laboratory during World War II designing rocket fuels. And when the US decided to enter the space race, Mary was chosen over her male colleagues to create the fuel to launch a rocket carrying America’s first satellite.

With courage and perseverance, Mary’s hard work and calculations paid off, opening up a brand-new frontier for exploration. This STEM biography of an unsung and courageous woman in science will inspire and motivate young readers.

“Dates and details.” “More About Mary.” Information about Explorer I and the Juno I rocket. Archival photographs. Selected
bibliography. Author’s note. Full-color illustrations done in a hybrid of collage, digital collage, prisma drawings on vellum, and digital paint. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Sexism

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

48

Trim Size

10" x 11 1/2"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

690L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jul 2022

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography, Picture Book, Narrative Nonfiction

Topics

Mary Sherman Morgan (1921–2004). Rocketry. US women scientists. Chemistry. World War II (1939–1945). Space Race (1955–1975). Twentieth-century US history. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4-Determination, passion, and intellect help fuel Mary Sherman Morgan from good to great! Morgan grew up in humble beginnings working on the family farm: "Until one day the sheriff and a social services woman came calling. They said eight-year-old Mary belonged in school. It was the law!" Once Morgan entered school, her passion for learning and especially science was sparked. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and she was forced to drop out of college due to the lack of funding. That didn't stop her from continuously seeking knowledge. When one door closed, Morgan looked for and worked hard for another to open. She eventually ended up at NASA, part of a mostly male workforce, but that didn't stop her from pursuing her dreams. Trial and error led to her big discovery of the correct fuel for America's first satellites. Slade dispenses the facts of Morgan's early years with ease, never glossing over the hardships, but they don't stop the story any more than they stopped this heroine. Comport's illustrations set the era with architecture and clothing, capturing the thrills of the dawning space age, and always capturing Morgan with an inner light despite adversity. VERDICT For all biography shelves, especially those covering the early days of the space program. Morgan's hardscrabble origins will inspire others to reach for the skies.-Amanda Austin

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4-Determination, passion, and intellect help fuel Mary Sherman Morgan from good to great! Morgan grew up in humble beginnings working on the family farm: "Until one day the sheriff and a social services woman came calling. They said eight-year-old Mary belonged in school. It was the law!" Once Morgan entered school, her passion for learning and especially science was sparked. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and she was forced to drop out of college due to the lack of funding. That didn't stop her from continuously seeking knowledge. When one door closed, Morgan looked for and worked hard for another to open. She eventually ended up at NASA, part of a mostly male workforce, but that didn't stop her from pursuing her dreams. Trial and error led to her big discovery of the correct fuel for America's first satellites. Slade dispenses the facts of Morgan's early years with ease, never glossing over the hardships, but they don't stop the story any more than they stopped this heroine. Comport's illustrations set the era with architecture and clothing, capturing the thrills of the dawning space age, and always capturing Morgan with an inner light despite adversity. VERDICT For all biography shelves, especially those covering the early days of the space program. Morgan's hardscrabble origins will inspire others to reach for the skies.-Amanda Austin

Grades 2-6
Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus
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Interests
Biographies,Graphic Novels,Nonfiction,Reluctant Readers,Science/STEAM
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