Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Photo Credit: B&N

This week for the Fiction Friday feature, I am reviewing the biography novel, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. This book was published in September 2016 by Willow Morrow & Company and has a page count of 368 pages. The audiobook is read by Robin Miles and is 10 hours & 47 minutes in length. The following overview is provided from the B&N page: Set against the background f the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program—and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now. Before John Glen orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as “Human Computers,” calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these “colored computers,” as they were known used slide rulers, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America’s fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these “computers,” personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, Hidden Figures recalls America’s greatest adventure and NASA’s groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

Wow. This book came with not only the amazing stories of people written out of the history of NASA. But it comes with statistics of all sorts that better help paints a picture of the setting. I loved the movie, but this book brought me to a new emotional level with the story. The film is a cherry-picked telling of this book. This book points out not just the struggles within NASA as the film highlighted, but the book discusses housing, community and so much more. This is what paints a true picture of the experience of these extraordinary people who quietly broke barriers and would be lost to history for a period of time. This is a must-read book.

I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tomorrow for the Missing Person Saturday feature, I am highlighting the missing person’s case of Melissa Nicole Garcia. Next week for the Fiction Friday feature, I am reviewing the romance Audible Original, Her Mother’s Secret by Natasha Lester. Until then keep reading on; Nerd out!

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