Thursday, March 19, 2009
Almost Astronauts: Thirteen Women Who Dared to Dream
March is Women's History Month. If you are like me, you've got some favorite go-to gals for women's history. Mine include, but are not limited t, the ladies from Seneca Falls, of course, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth, Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, Coco Chanel, Marie Curie, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. After reading Tanya Lee Stone's Almost Astronauts, I've got thirteen more women to add to my list. This fascinating book tells the story of women who completed the same NASA testing as the men in the Mercury 7 program but were denied admittance to the program based on their gender. Reading it, you will find yourself both frustrated and inspired. Frustrated by injustices and inspired by perseverance. Although those women were held back, they did pave the way for others. Isn't that a common thread in women's history?The final chapters tell of the successes of Sally Ride, Eileen Collins, and contemporary female fighter pilots and astronauts. I highly recommend this book for girls from the fourth grade straight through high school, especially for those interested in science and technology.