Mae Jemison: Shooting for the Stars: The First Black Woman in Space

Bushel & Peck. (Black History Heroes). Bk. 1. May 2024. 104p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781638191780.
Gr 3-7–This empowering and engaging middle grade biography series about Black changemakers gets off to a strong start. The first releases center Black Panther actor and activist Chadwick Boseman (see ISBN 9781638191773) and Dr. Mae Jemison, the first Black female astronaut to go to space. Boseman and Jemison excelled in so many areas—sports, the arts, and STEM to name a few—that children are bound to be interested in and inspired by their stories. The authors expertly weave quotes from the subjects with biographical information, creating an engaging and conversational narrative. Short chapters move the text along quickly. Resources follow each chapter, which include a glossary of terms and concepts, reflection questions, and world events happening at various points in the person’s history. These sometimes seem extraneous, but the other elements will help readers process and make connections to the text. End notes include a master glossary, time line, and selected bibliography. Black-and-white, comic-style illustrations infuse the dynamic text with even more life.
VERDICT Strongly recommended for juvenile nonfiction collections.

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