Stone, Tanya Lee. 2009. ALMOST ASTRONAUTS: 13 WOMEN WHO DARED TO DREAM. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763636111 [Suggested Grade Levels 5- 9]
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. While a landmark moment, Ride’s journey was paved by the many women, who had the same dream, of being an astronaut, denied them. ALMOST ASTRONAUTS tells the story of thirteen of these forerunners on this path; the story of the “Mercury 13.” These 13 women, almost made it into space and this title details the trials and indignities they suffered because they were women.
Stone uses personal stories and impassioned pleas to make her feelings on these injustices known. With comments like, “Would anyone ever suggest that a male astronaut ought to be a married man with little sex appeal? No. Not in a million years.” Stone inserts herself into the story and you can hear her outrage. Personal interviews, archival photographs and primary sources with extensive and detailed back matter make this a well thought out and helpful resource.
Stone has included wonderful options for additional research in the “Further Reading” and “Webliography.” Gather these books and explore the websites as a class to further the discussion and, as an additional bonus, you can demonstrate what wonderful reference resources can be contained in the back matter of books.
Continue the discussion on Women’s Rights by connecting with these additional titles:
Bolden, Tonya. 33 THINGS EVERY GIRL SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WOMEN’S HISTORY: FROM SUGGRAGETTES TO SHIRT LENGTHS TO THE E.R.A. ISBN 9780375811227
Krull, Kathleen. LIVES OF EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN: RULERS, REBELS (AND WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THOUGHT) ISBN 9780152008079
By Marianne Follis