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Mae Among the Stars

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,181 ratings  ·  238 reviews
Inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison.

When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering.

She wanted to be an astronaut.

Her mom told her, "If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.”

Little Mae’s curiosity,
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by HarperCollins (first published 2018)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Mae dreams of seeing Earth from the stars. She learns this means she wants to be an Astronaut. Her parents tell her, if she can dream it, she can do it. Her teacher tells her to be a nurse. She listens to her parents. Mae is a real person and she was the first African American Woman in space in 1992.

I love stories about people who have a dream and reach that dream. What I am slowly learning about these people is they usually have a singular dream that is the focus of their life. Everything they
Now although I have found Rhoda Ahmed's Mae Among the Stars inspirational and generally sweetly recounted, I am sorry to say that I also at the same time do consider her Mae Among the Stars quite majorly and annoyingly lacking in the specific details, in the particular information about how Mae Carol Jemison actually proceeded to become an astronaut. As while I do much appreciate that Rhoda Ahmed clearly describes and depicts how Mae's family was always unfailingly supportive, I for one wanted n ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a sweet, simplistic book, but it's also a missed opportunity. Mae Jemison's life is so interesting that much more could be written than just I-wanted-something-and-a-teacher-made-me-sad-and-then-I-wanted-it-again. Kids can handle depth of character and historical context, and it's a shame not to see that explored more here.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Ah, mixed feelings here. On the one hand, this is a lovely book, with engaging illustrations and plenty of encouragement for following your dreams. Mae's own story certainly is five-star worthy and I appreciated the brief biographical information in the back -- but this picture book left me wanting more. How did Mae go from hearing her teacher tell her she couldn't be an astronaut to entering Stanford University at age sixteen!? While certainly children need their parents to champion their dream ...more
This was one of Black Girls Love Books' "New books that celebrate Black girls and women for Black History Month!" so I was excited about it, but while it's a nicely illustrated book and the narrative isn't bad, it felt sparse and generic to me. (I mean, I also don't love the refrain of "If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible," since that's not actually literally true, but I'm willing to roll with it for the sake of a picturebook encouraging children to ...more
Beautiful art, but I found the narrative sparse. I bet there are a lot more interesting things about Mae Jemison the book could have told. A story where not much happens until three quarters of the way in a white teacher tells her she can't be an astronaut, she gets briefly sad, and then gets over it? Not very compelling. Most of the story felt padded.

I also found it too "American Dream"-focused. The refrain of "If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible"
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
With a refrain of encouraging words, this story of the first African American woman in outer space is perfect for storytimes and read-alouds sure to inspire readers to dream big and work hard for it.
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Art is lovely. But really, I enjoyed the page on the many accomplishments of Dr Jemison, and the bios of the author and illustrator more than the text, which isn't very subtle.

Library copy
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books About Mae Jemison
Young Mae dreams of becoming an astronaut and visiting the stars in this lovely picture-book debut from expat Norwegian author Roda Ahmed and first-time illustrator Stasia Burrington. Her parents offer her words of encouragement, telling her that if she can dream of something, believe in something, and work hard toward something, she can do anything she wants. Hurt when her teacher tries to redirect her ambitions toward nursing - something suitable, apparently, for "someone like her" - Mae is on ...more
The Library Lady
Sorry, folks, but just because a book is about an inspirational character doesn't mean it's good.
The writing here is incredibly awkward and pedestrian. What could have been wonderful in the hands of a terrific writer becomes not so wonderful here.

Let's move on to the choice of an artist. All the characters have round round heads, tiny eyes and no noses. Fine if this were anime, but it's not, and while it has charm, it really doesn't fit the book.

This will be popular because of its subject, and
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Unsatisfying, trivial, and neither helpful or inspiring. If the book is meant to focus on her childhood, to be more directed to the audience, then more should be said about the family, imo. But even that would not be enough for me. Sorry.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read! It deserves a spot in every classroom library.
Mary Lee
For me, this book was not so much about Mae Jemison as it was about which voices do we listen to and which should we ignore in our pursuit of our dreams?
Baby Bookworm
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Mae Among The Stars, written by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington, a story inspired by real-life astronaut Mae Jemison’s early years.

When her parents ask her what she wants to do when she grows up, Mae says something odd: “I want to see the Earth”. When they point out that Earth is all around her, Mae clarifies that she wants to see the Earth from
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a young child, Mae Jemison wanted to see Earth...from space. Her parents tell her, "If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible." Despite a teacher telling her she should probably be a nurse, that becoming an astronaut isn't probable for her, Mae works hard. And of course, she becomes the first African American woman to travel to space.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their young children
This book describes the excitement and enthusiasm that Mae Jemison brought in her quest to go to space as an American astronaut from her earliest childhood years. The narrative is a bit too simplistic for my taste and is filled with platitudes, but not a lot of substance.

I do appreciate that the author included a note at the end of the book with additional information about Dr. Jemison's life, including the fact that she speaks fluent Russian, Japanese, and Swahili and that she served in the Pe
Ryan Cinfel
Apr 09, 2019 added it
Shelves: nonfiction
I would include this book into the second-grade science unit about inventors and scientists. This would fit well for two main reasons. First, the book is based upon the life of Mae Jemison, the first female African American woman to travel in space, which would fit with our scientists. Also, the fact that she was involved in the space program would coincide with our study of different inventions over the years. The twin text I chose to go with it is called I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Bart ...more
Hanane Saissi
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book would be great to share with children in black history month, since it is inspired by the true story of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American Women in space. Because of her parent’s encouragements presented in this quote: "If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible", Mae followed her dream of becoming an astronaut. Mae path to become the first African American Women in space was filled with obstacles and the first one was her teacher who sug ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
"If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible." this is the message young Mae Jemison hears from her parents over and over again. They inspire her to actually live her dream of becoming an astronaut. Filled with inspiration and beautiful bright illustrations the reader sees young Mae overcome obstacles - including a teacher who tries to talk Mae out of her dream and suggests she become a nurse instead - and working hard to become the first African-American wo ...more
This is a nice picture book biography that tells young readers about the early life of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. The simple text along with the kid-friendly illustrations, make this a good starting point to inspire further research. There’s more biographical information on the last page, but I wish the author had included some photographs of Dr. Jemison and her space adventures.
Patricia McLaughlin
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
A hackneyed story line reduces a pivotal time in the stellar life of Dr. Mae Jemison to a platitude: dream it, believe it, work it, achieve it. The illustrations add much-needed depth to the story, but the wide-eyed, nose-less characters seem more alien than human; that said, Mae’s blue ride home from school conveys the disappointment of a dream deferred. A photo of Dr. Mae Jemison in her space suit would have been a welcome addition to the biographical note.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a beautifully illustrated and simply told story about the first female African-American astronaut, Mae Jamison. My only complaint is that it is TOO simple. Mae goes from being a little girl told she could never go to space to going to space, and the only detail on how she did it is basically by believing in herself and her dreams, and putting her mind to it. I’m guessing there might have been a little more to it than that. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Julie Kirchner
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A great first look at Mae Jemison. I used it with first grade and it launched them into wanting to know more about her life. It was also a wonderful book to use for Women’s History Month. Beautiful illustrations and a perfect message of perseverance and believing in your dreams!
I read this to the kids and they immediately asked if they could write her a letter/draw her pictures, since finally I read them a book about someone still alive. So I'd say they enjoyed it. Very inspiring.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book of hope for youngsters that dream big! Words of encouragement to achieve!
Wonderful story of perseverance and pursuing your dreams. Just the right amount of info for 1st grade.
Brittany Cohens
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 572-wow-books
Mae among the stars is a biographical children's book that tells about a young Mae Jemison dreaming of her future aspirations to become an astronaut. Mae thinks, questions, plans and dreams about seeing the Earth from above. When she receives less than supportive advice from her teacher, she almost begins to doubt her biggest dream, but the loving words of her family inspire her to push through until her dreams are realized.

This book would be excellent to use as a read aloud in K-2 when studyin
Kellee Moye
We've read Rocket Says Look Up (below) quite a few times, and Trent always has me look up Mae Jemison because Rocket mentions her, so when I found out about this picture book about her as a young child, I knew Trent was going to love it, and I was right. It shows that if you dream it and work hard, you can do it!

(view spoiler)
Jan 28, 2020 added it
Shelves: state-award
1) Script: Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Student responses: A vet, a doctor, teacher, nanny, dog trainer, youtuber, scientists
Teacher: What do you need to do in order to follow your dream?
Students responses: believe in yourself, work hard, listen to yourself and don’t follow others
Teacher: How would you feel if someone tells you that you should do something other than your dream?
Student responses: sad, mad, upset
Teacher: This story is about a little girl named Mae who wa
Jennifer D
Jan 27, 2020 added it
Shelves: state-award
Opening moves:

Think back to what we learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream. He wanted to see a world where his four children were not judged by the color of their skin, but by what? Point to what he wanted. (Students point to heart.)
Exactly! Because of him so many people, of all skin colors, religions, and cultures were able to follow their dreams too. They were able to do things they believed in, things they loved, and things that inspired them to be their very best!
Mae Jemison
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Roda Ahmed is a Norwegian novelist and children's author. Born in Hargaisa, Somalia, she emigrated with her family to Norway, and was educated at the Norwegian University of Technology and Natural Sciences. She speaks Somali, Arabic, Norwegian, English and French. In 2008 her debut novel, Forberedelsen (The Preparation), became a bestseller in Norway. Ahmed was a regular columnist for the Norwegia ...more

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