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BOOKS
Created: 21st October, 2020

Katherine Johnson. A Life Story

Author: Leila Rasheed
Illustrator: Sarah Papworth
Publisher: Scholastic

A biography of Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who is now better known thanks to the film Hidden Figures. Her flight path calculations allowed Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 to land on the moon and her recalculation of the flight path of Apollo 13 allowed it to return safely to Earth when things went wrong. The narrative makes clear the racism and sexism she faced in her career by situating her life firmly within its historical context. The narrative is interspersed with information boxes that illuminate this and details of the ‘space race’ and associated technological developments. This inspiring information book includes timelines, a detailed index, a glossary and, unusually, a playlist suggesting a piece of music relating to each chapter.

Also: The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Johnson by Devika Jina, illustrated by Maggie Cole. Puffin 9780241375440

Counting on Katherine by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk. Macmillan 9781529005592