Staff Note: We know the wait for brand-new books can seem endless. Can't Wait? is a new series where we feature a list of readalikes to help you take your mind off a newly published book until it becomes available.
Thanks to the local connection and the popular film adaptation, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly has become a highly requested title. The nonfiction book relates the story of the previously unheralded contributions of NASA's African-American women mathematicians to America's space program and describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their successes.
This wide-ranging title covers themes such as desegregation, racism, civil rights, women's rights and the early history of the space program. While you wait to read your copy of Hidden Figures, check out one of these titles, which cover similar themes and are also excellent reads.
- Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt — Traces the pivotal achievements of the elite female science recruits at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where in the mid-twentieth century they transformed rocket design and enabled the creation of the first American satellites.
- The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan — Looks at the valuable contributions made by the thousands of women who worked at a secret uranium-enriching facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during World War II.
- We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program by Richard Paul — Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson utilized the space program as an agent for social change, using federal equal employment opportunity laws to open workplaces at NASA and NASA contractors to African Americans while creating thousands of research and technology jobs in the Deep South to ameliorate poverty. This book tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of how shooting for the stars helped to overcome segregation on earth.
- The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel — The little-known true story of the unexpected and remarkable contributions to astronomy made by a group of women working in the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s.
- Packing for Mars — Describes the weirdness of space travel, answers questions about the long-term effects of living in zero gravity on the human body, and explains how space simulations on Earth can provide a preview to life in space.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot — Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.
Visit our online catalog to request these titles today.