Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing

illus. by Lucy Knisley. 40p. bibliog. ebook available. further reading. photos. Knopf. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399551857.
K-Gr 3—When 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.

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