Friday, November 5, 2010

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

Reviewed by Miss Dewey at Orenda

Five paw prints. Have you heard of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, or Michael Collins? Probably. They were famous astronauts and while Michael Collins piloted the command module, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were becoming the first men to ever walk on the moon. But have you ever heard of Jerrie Cobb, Jan Dietrich, or Rhea Hurrie. No? I'm not surprised. In the 1960s, while NASA was testing and training seven men to see if they had the "right stuff" to go into space, there were 13 women who were taking many of the same tests. Not only were these 13 women taking many of the same tests as the men, but in many cases the women were doing better than the men on the same tests. But one day the women were told they were not going to be allowed to finish taking the tests, and only people who took, and passed, all the tests would be allowed into space. It would be almost another 20 years before women would, again, have the chance to go into space. So why did it take so long for women to be allowed into space? There were a number of reasons, but the main reason was they were women. In the early 1960s, when NASA was beginning its space program, ALL the people in charge of making the decisions were men. The men liked to believe they were stronger than women and that women should stay at home, take care of the home, raise the children, and be waiting for their husbands to come home from work. The men wanted to believe they were superior to the women, and the men didn't want to change their ways or their thinking. This was a great book. It had everything I enjoy in a good story: history; drama; and underdogs who may not have won the battle but they certainly won the war. There are so many websites that go along with this book that there is not enough room to list them all, so I will list two here, but you will have to look at the back of the book for the full list of recommended websites. The two websites I would recommend starting with are The International Women's Air & Space Museum at and NASA Kids' Club at 629.45 Sto

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