Following her childhood dreams, Mae Jemison grew to become an accomplished woman as a chemical engineer, scientist, physican, and astronaut while having made her mark in the history books as the first African-American woman to travel into space. - (Baker & Taylor)
The first African American woman to travel to space shares her special memories from her childhood in Chicago, to her college career at Stanford University, to her work in West Africa as the Peace Corps youngest medical officer. - (Baker & Taylor)
Gr. 7-12. This breezy autobiography introducing astronaut Mae Jemison's early life and subsequent brilliant career is a treat. Jemison's vitality, intelligence, and humor shine through the book, and she has a fascinating and inspiring life story to tell. When kindergartener Mae told her teacher she wanted to be a scientist, the woman replied, "Don't you mean a nurse?" Mae held her ground. Hands on hips, she replied, "No, I mean a scientist." That intelligence and strength of character, combined with love of family and friends, helped Jemison overcome gender and race prejudice to become a winner who entered Stanford University at the age of 16 and never looked back. Over the years, she has been a chemical engineer, a medical doctor, a Peace Corps medical officer, an astronaut--and the first woman of color to travel in space. After six years in NASA, she went on to become a college professor, head of her own technology firm, and creator of an international science camp. What a woman! ((Reviewed November 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 6-10-Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, has been creating her own wind, and following it, for much of her life, as this conversational autobiography reveals. Beginning with a childhood desire to be a scientist, she moved steadily toward that goal. She graduated from an integrated south side Chicago high school at 16. At Stanford, where she received a degree in chemical engineering, she encountered, for the first time, teachers who doubted her ability because of her gender and her race. One summer, while attending Cornell Medical School, she went to Africa. After a rotating general practice internship, she returned to Africa to serve as Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone for two and a half years. Returning to the States to work as a doctor in Los Angeles, she applied for astronaut training. Jemison recounts her story in a chatty mode, with occasional digressions and side comments. Readers who have followed her roughly chronological path from birth to Africa will be surprised to find her suddenly launched into space before the flashback to astronaut selection and training. The last short section covering her astronaut experiences will disappoint readers who have enjoyed the more discursive pace of the rest of the book and the many memorable vignettes, such as the tone-deaf Jemison auditioning for West Side Story. The sometimes awkward flow of the prose is unfortunate in this otherwise appealing glimpse into the early life of an impressive woman already inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.