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Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to…

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (2009)

by Tanya Lee Stone

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When I was a kid, I was obsessed with NASA and astronauts. One year I spent the entire summer studying for the Air Force Academy's entrance exam because I thought the best way to be an astronaut was to be a pilot. The only thing that I didn't learn was that years before Sally Ride was shot into space, thirteen women were willing, ready and able to do the same.

In Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, Tanya Lee Stone, takes us back to a time before Title IX, before women in science programs, before the second wave of feminism, when it was all too easy for the US Government, NASA and a Vice-President to simply say no to women dreaming of floating among the stars.

The discrimination against these 13 women was atrocious. Every single test that was set up, these women passed with flying colors, yet NASA still said no to them. Many of the men of Mercury and Apollo missions testified against the women in front of Congress. The wives of astronauts would also speak up against the women. But the 13 women weren't alone...Scores of women across the country took to the streets and wrote letters to the White House demanding that the 13 women be allowed to enter the astronaut program.

Almost Astronauts is a moving young adult book. One that tells a simply story of women striving to fulfill their dreams. One that fills in some holes in American history, but I didn't feel was hitting young people over the head with the feminism stick. The photos and historical documents shown are powerful. I would recommend this book to any young woman, especially one in high school who is ready to take on the world on her own, who may be questioning where she will take her life and definitely one who may be dreaming bigger than most people think is proper.
  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
Outstanding nonfiction story of early efforts to have women considered for astronaut training in NASA's early days.

Aimed at middle school readers, the text is straightforward and unsentimental. One could wish for a more in-depth picture of the individual women and of the political background that kept them out of the program, but that would really be beyond the scope of this book. Sources and further reading lists in the end material, however, provide good signposts for additional exploration.

Definitely a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the manned spaceflight program. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Dec 14, 2018 |
An informative read that teaches students the history and biography of the inspirational women of space. Provides students with many interesting facts to learn from as well as many pictures to visually learn from.
  Rachael_Dorsch | Dec 11, 2018 |
13 women have a dream of becoming astronauts in a world where men are superior and women are less and belong in the house to cook and clean. They had a dream that they conquered when all odds were against them.
I would read this book to grades 1st through 5th. I would use this book to teach my students to have dreams and no matter the odds put all of their effort into chasing their dreams. ( )
  Jenica_Flores | Nov 26, 2018 |
Jerrie Cobb is a woman who dared to dream to be an astronaut in a time when women were not equal and did not have the same opportunities as men. She and twelve other women underwent all the NASA tests to become astronauts, unfortunately they did not make it to space but they did allow the chance for other women to make their way into space exploration. I would use this book to teach older students about women's rights and also about the struggles they had to go through to be equal as men. ( )
  lindseyluchak | Nov 24, 2018 |
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A note about "Mercury 13"

The "Mercury 13" is actually a misnomer, as these thirteen women were never part of the Mercury space program. But because they went through many of the same tests that the Mercury astronauts did, the "Mercury 13" has become the nickname most often associated with the women in this story.
For the extraordinary women in my family - beginning with Bessie, Sarah, Leah, and Dorothy - all the way to Laurie, Sarah, Leah, and Liza
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July 1999

One woman stands alone, off to the side of the crowd.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763645028, Paperback)

They had the right stuff. They defied the prejudices of the time. And they blazed a trail for generations of women to follow.

What does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape — any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was another unspoken rule: you had to be a man. Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules. ALMOST ASTRONAUTS is the story of thirteen true pioneers of the space age.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A biography of the thirteen women astronauts of Project Mercury and their case for sex discrimination that gave other young women their place in the sky.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763636118, 0763645028

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