A COMPUTER CALLED KATHERINE
Written by Suzanne Slade • Illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison
The inspiring true story of mathematician Katherine Johnson–made famous by the award-winning film Hidden Figures–who counted and computed her way to NASA and helped put a man on the moon!
Katherine knew it was wrong that African Americans didn’t have the same rights as others–as wrong as 5+5=12. She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses–as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America’s first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world’s first trip to the moon!
Award-winning author Suzanne Slade and debut artist Veronica Miller Jamison tell the story of a NASA “computer” in this smartly written, charmingly illustrated biography.
Praise for A Computer Called Katherine:
“In her picture-book debut, the illustrator Veronica Miller Jamison mixes neatly composed, straightforward action with inventive, swirling images dramatizing Johnson’s brilliant calculations.”
“Illustrator Jamison beautifully conveys in illuminating watercolors both how much Katherine enjoyed numbers and how determined she was to succeed in a male-dominated field. Informative backmatter includes a historical timeline and notes from the author and illustrator. An excellent way to introduce young readers to an African-American female mathematician who deserves to be remembered and celebrated.”
“Slade writes in clear, up-tempo prose, well paired with Jamison’s expressive mixed-media art, which presents Johnson as a self-assured figure in bright, jewel-toned clothing. Spreads also feature chalky mathematical computations, and the launch of Apollo 11—guided by Johnson’s meticulous calculations—is presented dynamically across three panels. An uplifting portrait of a no longer so “hidden” figure.”
“Wide pages offer appropriate room for the engaging mixed-media illustrations (don't miss the endpapers!), which wonderfully introduce, depict, and honor this STEM heroine.
“First-time illustrator Jamison relies on ink, watercolor, marker, and colored pencil to create spreads that emphasize math concepts. Often there’s a faint background of the geometric images and equations shown on the end papers. VERDICT: Another appealing picture book biography of a successful woman; a strong choice for most collections.”
— School Library Journal