Title: Hidden Figures
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Genre: nonfiction, history, science
Is this part of a series? No.
Published: December 6th, 2016
The true story about the women behind some of NASA’s earliest, and most amazing, accomplishments. Back when segregation was a very real thing for African Americans these women went out and broke barriers. Using their nerve and intellect, they forced their way into Langley first as computers and then, some as supervisors and engineers. This is the story of their struggles, joys and accomplishments.
I have to warn you, this is going to get opinionated. before we begin I ought to say that this book is getting pretty high marks on Goodreads and Litsy both. The book just wasn’t for me. The premise is interesting, and the research is definitely there- the author was extremely thorough. For me, though, it missed the mark in one important way- I felt nothing. I didn’t laugh, cry, get excited…. nothing. I wanted this book to give me all the feels, and I mostly just got annoyed. It read like a laundry list of accomplishments. Now, there were moments with Katherine and Mary where I was almost there- I nearly connected with the characters- but it was quickly swept away.
It’s possible I just expected too much, having seen the commercials for the movie (it looks so moving!), and having read October Skies and been moved by it. I am usually moved by stories where the underdog makes a difference, breaks barriers and comes out on top. This book ought to have been right up my alley… but it was just really dry. I couldn’t care for it. I did finish it, though, and felt like I learned as much as I would have in any college text book, so there’s a plus. Still, I have to give it three stars- and that’s generous. I will eventually be seeing the movie, though, and doing a review on it. I can’t wait!
On the adult content, the very real discrimination these women faced could be very hard for a younger teen to deal with but I think it’s an important enough piece that if they were interested, I would give it to them. There really wasn’t anything I wouldn’t want my niece knowing about. I give it a three.
The book is out- have you read it? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Link to book: