Margaret Hamilton was a curious girl who grew up to be a pioneer in software programming
Margaret loves mathematics; in fact, she loves knowing about everything—art, music, the night sky. And she wonders, “Why didn’t more girls grow up to be doctors? Or scientists? Or anything else they wanted?” Her father encourages her to ask questions, be curious, shoot for the moon. Computers are still brand-new in the 1950s and ’60s, so when Margaret discovers them, she experiments to figure out what they might do: simple mathematics, tracking airplanes, predicting the weather. As the director of software programming for an MIT laboratory working for NASA, she helps Apollo 8 orbit the moon and Apollo 10 get within 9 miles of the moon’s surface. When Apollo 11 runs into problems, Margaret and her computer codes get them out of trouble and onto the moon. Robbins successfully translates a complicated subject into an engaging text, with just the right amount of scientific information for young readers. Knisley’s cartoonish illustrations, reminiscent of Megan McCarthy’s, especially in Margaret’s bespectacled eyes, perfectly capture the young white woman’s inquisitive spirit while keeping the story light and child-friendly.
A superb introduction to the life of one girl whose dreams were out-of-this-world. (author’s note, bibliography, additional reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)