Young women today have many careers from which to choose. The doors that were once closed to them have had their hinges sprung, thanks to women like those depicted here. Laura Woodmansee brings together, in her book Women Astronauts, profiles of women who studied and worked hard and ultimately achieved their goal of becoming an astronaut, in America and in other countries around the world. Women Astronauts is the first book to bring the biographies of these women astronauts all together in one place. Certainly, each woman is a positive role model and deserves a book unto herself, but this is an excellent jumping off place for further exploration.
Young women considering the sciences, and particularly looking toward NASA and space as their future, should take time to read this book, and its successor, Women of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier. Readers will gain a better understanding of the determination, commitment, and expertise needed to work in the space industry. Career counselors and educators may wish to make these a part of their resource shelf in order to provide young women with the information they need in planning future academic endeavors.
The books would also make excellent guides for in-class discussions. Parents homeschooling their daughters, and who may be wondering where to find information on possible career fields, will want to include these books in the family library as well. Each biography gives readers a glimpse at the personal perspective, education, experience, and special honors each the astronauts have received. Their stories, albeit moderate in length, are inspirational and contain an abundance of information. The book is written in a direct and positive manner, and parents can feel comfortable with the content. A photograph accompanies each biography. Women Astronauts includes a CD-Rom with video interviews of eight of the women profiled.