The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Johnson

Publisher: Puffin

Review

This interesting biography of brilliant mathematician Katherine Johnson charts her life from early childhood to the present day. Born in West Virginia, USA in 1918, Katherine was a bright, inquisitive child with a passion for numbers.

After graduating from university and teaching for many years, she accepted a job at NACA (the precursor to NASA) in 1953, at a time when the organisation was considering the idea of space exploration. Her calculations helped send the first Americans into space and were instrumental in the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969. Her brilliant mind, determination and hard work enabled her to overcome the many barriers she faced as a black woman living in America during a time of racial segregation and discrimination.

As well as documenting Katherine’s remarkable achievements, the book also includes a wealth of information about mathematics, space exploration and aspects of American history. Beautifully designed, this informative book contains attractive single-colour illustrations, a timeline of events and a comprehensive index. A fascinating volume in the Extraordinary Lives series, which also features Anne Frank, Stephen Hawking and Michelle Obama.

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