Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared To Dream


As Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins prepared for launch, she drew on history. She might be the first woman to command a space shuttle, but there were 13 women who came before her who trained but never made it to space. In July 1999, eight of the surviving 11 gathered to watch LTC Collins head to space. LTC Collins insisted on it!

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Great "untold" stories and incredible photography offer readers and researchers a well-told history of the role of women in the US Space Program.

Content Awareness Factors:

Although my 9-year-old is in the target audience, it is probably for older children. Many of the pop culture references in the book will be lost on them, though.

Young Reader Reaction

Reactions teetered between "that's cool" and "that's not fair." They went back and forth quite often in the first part of the book. When we got about three chapters in, my daughter was more interested in looking at the pictures (especially Chapter 12) than listening to what we had to say.

Parent Reaction

This is fascinating ... verging on riveting. The pictures MAKE you want to read the text. The quotes from Jerri Truhill keep you focused on the point of the book: progress can move one step forward two steps back AND two steps forward and one step back ... and sometimes its hard to tell the difference. My only disappointment is the cultural references. Where the history itself is valuable and timeless, the references to Murphy Brown and Cagney and Lacey seem trite.

Type of Book:
This is an illustrated history of the space program that includes historical data, interviews, and lots of great photos.
Educational Themes:

With mid-elementary audiences you can explore the history through the pictures and some of the text. There are also free educational materials available on the author's website. This is a good choice for history, space history, and women's history.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 to 10
Age of child:
Read with an almost-9-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a phenomenal book, but one you're likely to read in pieces, not cover to cover. It is a must-have for school and public libraries.

Title Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
Author Tanya Lee Stone
Publisher Brilliance Audio © 2009
ISBN 1441825002
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres History - US, Biography, History, Space
Other Reviews:

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