Shetterly, Margot Lee Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition, 206 pages. Harper, 2016. $17. Content: G.
During World War II and into the age of NASA, women were prized for their mathematics abilities and were used extensively as computers, to calculate the complex problems needed for engineering tasks. Because of segregation in the United States, however, black computers faced many diverse challenges – from being overlooked for advancement to simply finding a place for the restroom.
I think I am glad that I saw the movie before I read this book. Otherwise, I’m not sure I would have persisted. As interesting as this hidden part of history is, the narrative does not flow well, and I think it will discourage many of the kids who might pick it up. Whoever wrote the screenplay did a masterful job of breathing life into the disparate parts. I’d love to hear from someone who read the book before they saw the movie!
MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher