Title: Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars
Author: Nathalia Holt
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – April 2016
Format I Read: Hardback
It always takes me longer to read nonfiction than fiction. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the nonfiction is boring. Perhaps I just need that time to really absorb the nonfiction.
This was a fascinating read. I learned so much about the women involved in what came to be the space program. Our family has enjoyed learning about the history of the space program, and to see the VERY important role the women played, and still play today, is great!
This book isn’t a dull read, full of nothing but data. It is a history, a creative nonfiction piece covering over eighty years of women contributing first to missiles, then to the space program after World War II. This book shows the successes, failures, friendships built and forever cherished between the many women who walked through the doors of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The science included is explained in a way that most readers can at least ha e a basic understanding of the immense responsibilities of these women. I learned quite a lot about some world history that affected, and was affected by, the women in this book.
The book is organized into four sections, plus an introduction and epilogue. The sections are divided by specific decades: 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s to today. There are several pages of pictures of the women, the engineers they worked with, the missiles, rockets and satellites they worked on, pictures of the planets their satellites captured on film.
When the book spoke of the rovers that NASA sent to Mars, I remembered hearing about the one in the late 90’s, when I was in middle school, the space station being built. I was surprised by many of the things I learned while reading. But I don’t want to spoil it for you.
I would recommend Nathalia Holt’s book to anyone interested in the history of women, of the space program, or just history itself.
Some of the final chapters jump back and forth in time over the last few decades when talking about certain aspects of the program, but Holt does separate those jumps with new paragraphs. While I was confused at times, it wasn’t anything that left me behind, wondering what I had missed.
I will rate this book 4/5 stars.