During the two world wars, not only were the jobs for mathematics at NASA more important, there were less men to serve them. That’s why the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory of Hampton, Virginia opened its jobs to women and African-Americans, and how many talented women got the jobs.
Hidden Figures tells the story of four women who worked at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were four talented, smart, mathematically-minded African-American women who helped create faster airplanes, missions to the moon, and helped other extraordinary ventures. When Dorothy Vaughan first arrived at the laboratory, the women were reserved into ‘computing pools’ to do calculations for the male engineers, but by the time Kathrine Johnson helped send the first manned spacecraft to the moon, she worked side-by-side with some of the men.
In Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly tells the story of these four women who did incredible work at NASA and helped to launch Americans into space. It was an interesting book to read, because it was not only about these four women but also mentioned many others working in the same field. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Kathrine Johnson and Christine Darden were part of countless important calculations, and their discoveries in part sent men into space and to the moon. Although it’s not the normal kind of book we review, I enjoyed it’s engaging, informative text.
I’d highly recommend Hidden Figures for anyone looking for an interesting, informative, historical read for kids and adults ages 8 and up.