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Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
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Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the book and film Hidden Figures.

You've likely heard of the historic Apollo 13 moon landing. But do you know about the mathematical genius who made sure that Apollo 13 returned safely home?

As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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This is Hidden Figures for the younger set and is well worth its while. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but I think this book is even better at giving a coherent picture of how Katherine Johnson did what she did. If there is any critique I would make about the book, it would be that it doesn't make quite a big enough point about both the sexism and racism that she faced. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend it.
Desiree Sotomayor
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the flow of this one & design. Everyone's heard of Apollo 13, although Katherine Johnson is probably someone not too many folks know, which needs to change!
Karen Upper
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant, approachable story! the author's succinct phrasing coupled with the fabulous illustrations by Dow Phumiruk are a perfect pairing in allowing young readers to grasp the momentous importance of this woman! Not only did she open the door for Afro-American women, but for all women in the workplace! What an empowering narrative! Thank you for gifting young readers with empowerment! Kudos!🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Highly recommended for elementary school and public libraries!
Mireille Messier
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A passion for numbers and a strong will to persevere in the face of seemingly impossible hurdles are what make the story of mathematician Katherine Johnson such a compelling biography. Author Helaine Becker really knocks it out of the park with a clear, concise and kid-friendly retelling of Katherine Johnson's fascinating life. Clever math-filled illustrations by Dow Phumiruk are the icing on the cake. An absolute must for every household and elementary classroom!
Having loved the film Hidden Figures enough to have bought the book that tells the story of Katherine Johnson's involvement in the space race, I was thrilled to find this picture book. Since it covers some of the similar territory from the film and then goes even further, readers will be immersed in the world of numbers and calculations so loved by Katherine even from a young age. Not only does the book tell about her formative years and her schooling but her job as a computer at NASA. Eventuall ...more
Stephanie Tournas
This is a great picture book biography of Katherine Johnson, one of the African-American women hired as “computers” at NASA in the 1960’s, and whose character is featured in the movie Hidden Figures. I love how the book emphasizes her love of school, especially math, and how she persevered in her education and goal of working as a mathematician. I also like that the author does not shy away from the racism that Johnson experienced in her life. The digital illustrations are charming and portray ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was given an ARC of this delightful picture book and am so glad I got to read it! The author does a wonderful job engaging young readers from page one regarding one of the "Hidden Figures" behind the scenes during the US space travel era. It's a great introduction to the math and science involved in space flight and how one woman - Katherine Johnson - brought astronauts safely back home from their orbits around the earth. An excellent and entertaining addition to STEM curriculum in the classro ...more
This awesome picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Katherine Johnson, a research mathematician who was an instrumental part of our country's space program during the race to the moon. Johnson was a bright little girl who overcame obstacles such as gender and race discrimination in order to become a prominent mathematician at NASA. Beautifully illustrated and engaging narrative text, along with more information in an author's note, make this a nice nonfiction resource to add to your ...more
The Bookies Bookstore
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The magnificent true story of Katherine Johnson. She was made famous by the film HIDDEN FIGURES, but her story starts much earlier. The book is full of inspiration, facts and wonderful artwork. It presents a truth that we need more than ever-you can overcome anything, any odds, if you work hard enough and do not accept the limitations put on you before you are ever born."-Bookie Luke
Lisa Day
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great book about an amazing person whose story should be shared far and wide. I interviewed Helaine Becker on Book Time about Counting on Katherine, about Katherine Johnson, a woman who helped bring Apollo 13 home.
Susan Waltman
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about one of the women who did the calculations for NASA for space flight. It is amazing to think this was done well before computers. This is one of the women the movie "Hidden Figures" is about.
Laura Roettiger
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent biography of Katherine Johnson. I can’t wait to share this with students when school starts. The illustrations are amazing and learning of the obstacles she faced along the way is truly inspiring.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to Katherine and how important she was to the space program. Additional information at the back including resources for more information.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Biography of Katherine Johnson for young to middle grade readers.
The illustrations support the text and pull the reader into the her life story.
Takes us from childhood to after Apollo 13.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very informative picture book for upper elementary children!
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great bio about Katherine Johnson and her extraordinary mathematical and analytical mind
Lorie Barber
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved the biography highlighting Katherine Johnson’s optimism and perseverance, and how it was so beautifully supported by the illustrations.
I've watched the movie "Apollo 13" a dozen times and it never mentions this important player in the safe return of the astronauts. Very interesting story and wonderful illustrations!
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Helaine Becker has written over 70 books, including the #1 National bestseller, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree,and its sequel, Dashing through the Snow, Sloth at the Zoom, Dirk Daring, Secret Agent, the Looney Bay All-Stars chapter book series, non-fiction including Counting on Katherine, Worms for Breakfast and Zoobots (all Junior Library Guild Selections), Monster Science, You Can Read, Lines Bars a ...more
More about Helaine Becker