Cover of Margaret and the Moon shows Margaret Hamilton contemplating the full moon as an astronaut and lunar module drift pastLot of recent books about female scientists! An eighteenth century astronomer. a marine biologist, a computer programmer. And today, a female member of the moon launch team is profiled in Margaret and the Moon.

I loved the voice of the book, and its quick pace. The book starts, “Margaret Hamilton loved to solve problems. She came up with ideas no one had ever thought of before.” The spare, efficient text tells about her interests as a child and about how finding computers changed her sense of what was possible. It’s exciting to see her struggling with the problems faced by space travel. The culminaton of the book is the moment when it looks like the computers may fail the astronauts in space, but it becomes clear that Hamilton’s careful computer coding has properly anticipated the problems, and solved them far in advance.

The illustrations are by graphic novelist Lucy Knisley. I loved her art in Relish and it’s just as accessible and fresh here. All of the text is hand-lettered (or maybe just looks hand-lettered?). The back endpapers include black and white photos of the real Margaret Hamilton. I kept flipping back and forth between the photos and the illustrations. Knisley does a great job capturing the look of the actual Margaret Hamilton in the illustrations.

Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Lucy Knisley. Alfred A. Knopf: 2017.

Children with book around a globe

I participate every Wednesday in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge at Kid Lit Frenzy.