Books for children
Women Aviators was included in the December 2013 Air & Space Smithsonian‘s (print circ 197,866) Best Children’s Books of 2013 roundup of aviation and space-themed books.
Gibson follows up Women Aviators (2013) with a similar, international gallery of pioneering women who reached for the stars (or, in the notorious case of the Mercury 13, were deliberately prevented from doing so). As in the previous title, she incorporates thorough research and a strong feminist message into her accounts, covering her subjects’ specific accomplishments on earth and in space, while also surveying the general history of space flight and astronaut training with a special focus on the gender prejudice that had to be battled and (mostly) overcome. Along with the usual suspects, such as Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, there are many lesser-known women, from Svetlana Savitskaya (the second Russian woman in space) to Kalpana Chawla, who died aboard the space shuttle Columbia, and a number of other women from a variety of countries. This illuminating gathering of role models is also bolstered with sheaves of source notes and useful references to further resources.