In the graphic novel Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier, Jim Ottaviani and illustrator Maris Wicks capture the great humor and incredible drive of Mary Cleave, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first women in space.
The U.S. may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. It took years to catch up, but soon NASA’s first female astronauts were racing past milestones of their own. The trail-blazing women of Group 9, NASA’s first mixed gender class, had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman’s place is in space, but they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for everyone.
About the Author
Jim Ottaviani (Feynman, Primates) is the world’s preeminent writer of comics and graphic novels about science. Notable works include a biography of Niels Bohr and the fast-paced tale of the desperate lives of early paleontologists and T-Minus: The Race to the Moon. He has worked as a nuclear engineer and is currently employed as a reference librarian in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Maris Wicks lives in sunny Somerville, Massachusetts. She is the author behind Human Body Theater, as well as the illustrator of New York Times Bestselling Primates, with Jim Ottaviani. Wicks has also created comics for Spongebob Comics, DC and Marvel. When Maris is not drawing comics, she can be found prepping slides for her collection of vintage microscopes.
"A well-researched and lively text and tidily composed yet expressive illustrations capture the women’s passion, ambition, and know-how—and their indignation and fury at the sexism they faced. Inspirational and funny (“That was Sally’s ride”) and full of nitty-gritty scientific details about astronaut training and life and work abroad a space shuttle, the book illuminates the women’s tough journey to prove that “space is for everyone.”"—Horn Book, starred review
"Readers will be intrigued and inspired to dive into further research to understand some of the jargon and learn more about the women profiled here. Fans of Ottaviani’s T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, as well as those interested in science or space travel, will eagerly gravitate to this title. A stellar addition to all collections."—The School Library Journal, starred review
"With plenty of eye-rolling takes on male-designed spacecraft faux pas and enthusiastic crew reveling in flight adventures, Ottaviani and Wicks drive home the message that it’s all about teamwork, and no team can function without diverse members."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Exhilarating—as well as hilarious, enraging, or both at once depending on the reader. "—Kirkus, Starred Review"
"Wicks and Ottaviani skillfully capture Cleave’s infectious enthusiasm up to the last page." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Gobs of humor, lively artwork, and tidy explanations of the science make this a standout among the vast field of books about the U.S. space program." —Booklist, Starred Review