SALLY RIDE: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMERICA’S PIONEERING WOMAN IN SPACE by Tam O’Shaughnessy tells the inspiring story of a scientist and astronaut who advocated for space exploration and science education.
Written by Sally’s long-time partner Tam O’Shaughnessy’s, this visually-rich photobiography is filled with personal photographs and artifacts including school papers, ticket stubs, letters, and receipts that provide intimate insights into the life of this very private person. What makes this work particularly appealing and unique is the way the author weaves in her own thoughts and memories of Sally throughout the narrative.
Although Sally Ride was best known as a space shuttle astronaut, this middle-grade biography explores the entire life of this famous woman. Unlike most works of nonfiction, this book doesn’t start with a Table of Contents. Instead, it begins with a prologue sharing the story of how Sally and Tam met. The book is divided into sections focusing on Sally’s early childhood, her tween and teen years, her college years, her time as an astronaut, and her life as an advocate for science education. The book concludes with a cast of characters, timeline, and index.
Librarians will find this to be a popular biography. It’s easy-to-read and highly illustrated making it particularly useful for reluctant readers. Unlike many biographies that examine a famous person at a distance, this book provides a very personal look at this private person. The author does a stellar job addressing Sally’s love-life using an age-appropriate approach. Although Sally will likely be known for her ground-breaking firsts as both a female and lesbian astronaut, the book focuses on her life rather than these labels.
It can be difficult to find engaging biographies for the middle grades. Look for this work of nonfiction on the best of 2015 lists!
Published by Roaring Brook Press an imprint of Macmillan on October 6, 2015.