Margaret and the Moon
Margaret and the Moon

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Annotation: Introduces the woman mathematician whose childhood love of numbers led to her prestigious education and contributions at NASA while explaining how her handwritten codes proved essential throughout numerous space missions.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #141375
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Knisley, Lucy,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-55185-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97804-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-55185-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97804-1
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2015039930
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Robbins tells the story of pioneering software engineer Margaret Hamilton, whose programs helped NASA land astronauts on the moon. Growing up in the '30s and '40s, Margaret didn't see many women scientists, but instead of being dissuaded by the dearth of women in those fields, she threw herself heartily into all her school work, particularly math, and dreamed big. When she started working with computers and teaching herself programming, her imagination really soared. Eventually, her programs became indispensable to the space program, and her cool-headed thinking prevented disaster during the Apollo 11 mission. In Knisley's genial, cartoonish illustrations, young Margaret gazes, wide-eyed, at constellation-filled skies and zips around with a pale yellow moon, nicely visualizing the boundlessness of her aspirations. An author's note offers more detailed information, as well as some further reading and a handful of photos of Margaret both as a child and with her work. A worthy addition to collections of picture-book biographies of scientists.
Kirkus Reviews
Margaret Hamilton was a curious girl who grew up to be a pioneer in software programming Margaret loves mathematics; in fact, she loves knowing about everything—art, music, the night sky. And she wonders, "Why didn't more girls grow up to be doctors? Or scientists? Or anything else they wanted?" Her father encourages her to ask questions, be curious, shoot for the moon. Computers are still brand-new in the 1950s and '60s, so when Margaret discovers them, she experiments to figure out what they might do: simple mathematics, tracking airplanes, predicting the weather. As the director of software programming for an MIT laboratory working for NASA, she helps Apollo 8 orbit the moon and Apollo 10 get within 9 miles of the moon's surface. When Apollo 11 runs into problems, Margaret and her computer codes get them out of trouble and onto the moon. Robbins successfully translates a complicated subject into an engaging text, with just the right amount of scientific information for young readers. Knisley's cartoonish illustrations, reminiscent of Megan McCarthy's, especially in Margaret's bespectacled eyes, perfectly capture the young white woman's inquisitive spirit while keeping the story light and child-friendly. A superb introduction to the life of one girl whose dreams were out-of-this-world. (author's note, bibliography, additional reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)
Publishers Weekly
Robbins (Miss Paul and the President) traces the life of mathematician and self-described software engineer Margaret Hamilton. Beginning with her early life as a curious girl who questioned (and studied) everything, Robbins moves briskly through her career path, from teaching herself how to write computer code to assisting with the 1969 moon landing and other NASA missions: -Could Margaret use computers to get the astronauts... 238,855 miles there... and 238,855 miles back?- Knisley-s (Relish) crisp cartooning approaches Hamilton-s story with reverence for her accomplishments, as well as humor (-Yippee!- shouts Apollo 11-s lunar module as it decamps for the moon-s surface). As the contributions of women in STEM fields gain increased attention and appreciation, Robbins and Knisley deliver an inspiring tribute to a true innovator. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. Illustrator-s agent: Holly Bemiss, Susan Rabiner Literary. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3When Margaret Hamilton was a child, her father encouraged her interest in space. She loved sports, reading, art, and music, but she especially enjoyed mathematics. Working with computers, Hamilton was able to combine her interests by teaching herself to write code and program computers. In 1964, she went to work for NASA and became the director of Software Programming for Project Apollo. Cartoon-style illustrations add a sense of levity to the work, making Hamilton's complex jobs accessible and appealing to a young audience. The narrative builds to an emotional climax when Apollo 11's lunar module, the Eagle, runs into problems minutes before the scheduled landing. Faced with a potentially disastrous computer overload, Hamilton's code corrected the malfunction, and the module touched down safely. The author was able to interview Hamilton, and an informative note explains more about her life and career. VERDICT Entertaining and illuminating, this book has many curricular connections, including space travel, women's history, inventions, and coding.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Margaret Hamilton was a curious girl who grew up to be a pioneer in software programming Margaret loves mathematics; in fact, she loves knowing about everything—art, music, the night sky. And she wonders, "Why didn't more girls grow up to be doctors? Or scientists? Or anything else they wanted?" Her father encourages her to ask questions, be curious, shoot for the moon. Computers are still brand-new in the 1950s and '60s, so when Margaret discovers them, she experiments to figure out what they might do: simple mathematics, tracking airplanes, predicting the weather. As the director of software programming for an MIT laboratory working for NASA, she helps Apollo 8 orbit the moon and Apollo 10 get within 9 miles of the moon's surface. When Apollo 11 runs into problems, Margaret and her computer codes get them out of trouble and onto the moon. Robbins successfully translates a complicated subject into an engaging text, with just the right amount of scientific information for young readers. Knisley's cartoonish illustrations, reminiscent of Megan McCarthy's, especially in Margaret's bespectacled eyes, perfectly capture the young white woman's inquisitive spirit while keeping the story light and child-friendly. A superb introduction to the life of one girl whose dreams were out-of-this-world. (author's note, bibliography, additional reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 722
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 189739 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q71674
Lexile: 630L
Guided Reading Level: O

A true story from one of the Women of NASA!

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.
 
Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley deliver a lovely portrayal of a pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.


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