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Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  810 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problem
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  810 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, if only there had been books like this when I was a kid. How wonderful to let little kids see that girls can do anything, even write code that would save the Apollo mission to the moon.

One reviewer complained that it didn't give enough information, and it was too short, but it is a picture book meant for the very young, and this is all they need.

Very colorful illustrations by Lucy Knisley, artist known for her foodie cartoons, and of late, for her cartoons about her toddler son, code name P
Rachel Watkins
Here's to female scientists and children's picture books about them! I loved MARGARET AND THE MOON about the woman who is considered the first female software engineer. This is a must-read for strong girls and those who love and support them.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Hamilton is someone who everyone should know. Everyone knows Neil Armstrong but there are many other people who had a significant impact on the landing on the moon, like Margaret Hamilton. She is the one that developed onboard flight software for the Apollo space program. When we read this book in our Pink STREAM coding and electronic classes, girls were very surprised because the landing on the moon was possible with a woman's program. The stereotypes make people think NASA engineers a ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish the format had permitted the inclusion of a little more information about her life, but overall this is a very good short biography of the woman who invented the term "software engineer" and who wrote the computer code for the Apollo program.
Much of the bibliography is material written for adults, far above the level of this book, but at least the information is there.
The visuals, a mixture of illustrations and photographs, is both informative and interesting. I thought that the visual pr
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This biographical tale about
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subtitle of this book is “How Margaret Hamilton Saved The First Lunar Landing,” and it introduces readers to Margaret Hamilton, “who loved to solve problems” and “came up with ideas no one had ever thought of before.” Eventually she became a part of the American space program at NASA.

As the author informs us:

“She helped Apollo 8 orbit the moon ten times. She helped Apollo 9 connect two ships in space. She helped Apollo 10 get within nine miles of the moon’s surface.”

Most famously, she helped
This is amazing!! Why did I not learn about Margaret Hamilton in school? Why is she ignored in the landing Apollo 11, when she saved the day?! Such an important book. Give this to everyone! Read for Info Books for Youth for grad school.
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very cute story. It is not very helpful if you want to learn a lot about Margaret. It is definitely a children's story that skims some of the facts. A good look that girls can do math and science. They can help in some really intense situations!
Great book about a woman whose contributions to making it possible for Neil Armstrong to land on the moon have gone unsung for a long time. I love the illustrations and the playful way her story is told. Another fine addition to the growing number of illustrated informational picture books.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cool story about a cool lady in history! Love the illustrations, too!

Can't decide if I think the font is super fun or if it just makes it harder to read.

Still an amazing book!
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Women in science #FTW
Lin Lin
Mar 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: math-and-ela, women
Margaret Hamilton has always been an unconventional thinker. As a computer software engineer, she wrote codes to tell computers to track planes, predict the weather, and fly astronaut Neil Armstrong in Apollo 11 to the moon for NASA. The book reminds every parent and teacher of the importance to encourage children to use their imagination and curiosity to solve problems in unusual ways.
Kris Patrick
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great children's biography about Margaret Hamilton and how she wrote the code for the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The story is crisply told and the illustrations are bright and engaging.
I wanted to like this more than I did. The writing was a bit off, especially for when Margaret was growing up. And the art was just okay, though I was happy to see the artist illustrating a children's book. The historical note was better.
This picture book biography passed the preschooler test - my two-year-old made me read it twice in a row, exclaiming over the pictures: "She playing music! She painting! Wow, mooooon!"

This does a great job of highlighting the accomplishments of a true trailblazer.

Notes on representation: Hamilton was white; people of other skin colors are depicted in crowd scenes and in Margaret's imagination.
Although I'd have liked to have known more about her, this picture book biography of Margaret Hamilton, the talented mathematician and software engineer who wrote the computer codes that made the lunar landing possible, is quite interesting and sure to encourage some girls to follow in her footsteps. Created with ink and then colored in Adobe Photoshop, the illustrations are appealing and simple, with just enough detail to interest readers. The text makes it clear that Margaret was always a hard ...more
Margaret Boling
1/28/2018 ~~ Hmmm. Great concept, interesting illustrations and layout. I'll order for my library. HOWEVER, I wish the story told a bit more about the context Hamilton worked in: education, barriers faced, people she interacted with. The book feels like she worked in a vacuum. I want my girls to know more about college, advanced degrees, etc.
Ben Truong
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing is a children's picture book written by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Knisley. It is a biographical picture book of Margaret Hamilton was a curious girl who grew up to be a pioneer in software programming.

March, at least in my part of the world is Women's History Month, which I plan to read one children's book, particularly a biography, which pertains to the subject everyday this month. Therefore, I thought that th
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This nonfiction picture book tells the story of Margaret Hamilton and her work on computers. When Margaret was a girl in the 1930s and 1940s, she wondered why girls weren’t studying science and math, so she did. She went to MIT and started working on computers back when they required handwriting code and the computers filled entire rooms. She eventually went to NASA where she programmed computers to help astronauts travel to the moon and connect to one another in space. When Apollo 11 came and a ...more
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-3-non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just did a long Instagram post waxing lyrical about this book so it feels a little repetitive but here it is anyway.

My little guy (Codename: Moongazer) is besotted with the moon an stars. It's not through anything we did. He just one day saw this big shiny thing in the sky (and many little shiny things too) and once we gave him the words for it (he was only 15 months at the time), it was like his whole world expanded. It's filled us adults with renewed wonder at universe too which is pretty c
Stephanie Bange
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Margaret Hamilton’s contribution to NASA and the space program is a footnote in history. This book should go far in correcting that and shining a light on the opportunities open to women in mathematics and science.

A curious child, Margaret loved working math problems. When an adult, she began to write computer code as a software engineer. She was hired by NASA and became Director of Software Programming for Project Apollo. When a glitch happened as Apollo 11 was landing on the moon, she had prep
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't have any idea who Margaret Hamilton was when I picked up this book, so it was interesting and fun for both me and my 5 year old daughter to read. I love the illustrations and graphic design of the book, as each page feels full and lively, like a cross between a comic and a nonfiction book, but still easy to read as a narrative. Also love the inclusion of the kinds of things Margaret wondered about, as these easily helped my daughter relate ("I've asked that before!"). Also prompted some ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
(School Library Journal) When Margaret Hamilton was a child, her father encouraged her interest in space. She loved sports, reading, art, and music, but she especially enjoyed mathematics. Working with computers, Hamilton was able to combine her interests by teaching herself to write code and program computers. In 1964, she went to work for NASA and became the director of Software Programming for Project Apollo. Cartoon-style illustrations add a sense of levity to the work, making Hamilton's com ...more
Gary Anderson
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Margaret and the Moon is a nonfiction picture book about Margaret Hamilton, a young girl who loves mathematics and applies her fascination to learning how to write code for computers. Eventually, she goes to work for NASA where her coding skills are important to the Apollo program. When the Apollo 11 lunar module develops a last-minute programming glitch, everyone turns to Margaret. Fortunately, Margaret had anticipated the possibility of this exact problem and easily solves it with her coding s ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The artist made the protagonist look shockingly close to how I draw myself and how I've drawn myself since I've been maybe twelve or thirteen! I don't think she looks that close to how I do from the snapshots in the back... (Then again, it's hard to draw long brown hair and glasses differently from that.)

ANYWAY I am fascinated by what Ms Hamilton did more than how she looks. My father and I spent a long time yesterday talking about his trip to see the remnants of the Apollo spaceship in an obse
Read  Ribbet
With the popularity of Hidden Figures, more unknown stories of the unsung people behind the space exploration efforts may be of interest to readers. Margaret and the Moon is another such story. This picture book biography captures the life of Margaret Hamilton -- a mathematician who contributed to the lunar expeditions -- in a very accessible text. With a streamlined text and graphic illustrations, the book should be accessible to most readers. The book celebrates her interest in math, learning, ...more
When I saw that Knisley illustrated it, I was comforted because while it fits her style, it isn't completely like her others. Her choices in drawing Hamilton as well as her youth and employment with NASA are lovely as are the full-page spreads of her looking up at the night sky and/or working to land the module on the moon when the module was overloaded with code. I was especially delighted to see the recreation of the image and the actual picture of Hamilton standing next to her paper stack of ...more
Margaret Hamilton has been one of my favorite scientists for a couple of years - ever since I first saw a photo of her, grinning, standing next to the towering stack of papers that contained her computer code for the Apollo mission. It made me so angry: "why am I learning about this from a tumblr post in my 20s??? Why did my teachers never teach me about this???? I might have liked science if I knew there were girls in it!" So, ugh. When I saw this book announced a few months before its release ...more
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