A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

Suzanne Slade, illus. by Veronica Miller Jamison. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-43517-8
Slade explores the life of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. Johnson excelled in mathematics beginning in childhood but was frustrated by the lack of opportunities available to women of her era. Her perseverance and skills led her to work at a Virginia research center, where she made complex calculations, advocated for her right to attend meetings with male engineers, and eventually joined the NASA space team. Slade writes in clear, up-tempo prose, well paired with Jamison’s expressive mixed-media art, which presents Johnson as a self-assured figure in bright, jewel-toned clothing. Spreads also feature chalky mathematical computations, and the launch of Apollo 11—guided by Johnson’s meticulous calculations—is presented dynamically across three panels. An uplifting portrait of a no longer so “hidden” figure. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/03/2019
Release date: 03/12/2019
Genre: Children's
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