Book Review: Katherine Johnson

Before reading this book I didn’t know all that much about Katherine Johnson, but what I did know, I was incredibly impressed by.  Having read this book, I now know a lot more about her – like how she loved numbers and would often count the steps her siblings took to walk to and from school and would count anything else she could as well. She ended up skipping to 2nd grade, skipped 5th grade and was ready for High School when she was just 10 years old! Wow!  Unfortunately, growing up when everything was segregated by race, there was no high school for African-Americans at the time where they lived.  Katherine’s Dad stayed to work on the farm while her Mom and siblings moved elsewhere so they all could go to high school and would not be forced to drop out. She graduated high school and started college at 15.  Once she finished college the odds were against her in finding a job doing something fun with math – since she was not only a woman but also African-American.  It is crazy to think that all this segregation and separation was not all that long ago – but Katherine was in the right place at the right time as she was able to further her education as one of only 3 African-American students in a previously white college.  And then discrimination in the work place laws were being placed – so many companies were now hiring women for jobs previously only had by men.

Katherine said it is important to do what you love and always do your best.  She also advanced in her career by asking questions and going against rules that were in place and becoming a trailblazer.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated. This book was released January 8, 2019 from DK Children.

About the Book

In this kids’ biography, discover the inspiring story of Katherine Johnson, famed NASA mathematician and one of the subjects of the best-selling book and movie Hidden Figures.

It was an incredible accomplishment when the United States first put a person on the moon–but without the incredible behind-the-scenes work of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, such a feat could not have been possible. In this biography for kids ages 8-12, follow Katherine’s remarkable journey from growing up in West Virginia, to becoming a teacher, to breaking barriers at NASA and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

DK Life Stories go beyond the basic facts to tell the true life stories of history’s most interesting people. Full-color photographs and hand-drawn illustrations complement thoughtfully written, age-appropriate text to create an engaging book children will enjoy reading. Definition boxes, information sidebars, fun facts, maps, inspiring quotes, and other nonfiction text features add depth, and a handy reference section at the back makes this series perfect for school reports and projects. Each book also includes an author’s introduction letter, a glossary, and an index.

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