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Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  111 reviews
In the graphic novel Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier, Jim Ottaviani and illustrator Maris Wicks capture the great humor and incredible drive of Mary Cleave, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first women in space.

The U.S. may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. It took years to
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by First Second
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There's a terrific scene here where a room full of future astronauts have been asked about a problem and they all agree on a probable solution. But ironically it's sorta bad that they all agree. What if everyone has the same blind spots? Pulling off a shuttle mission means solving a thousand different little problems a day, so diversity of thinking is crucial, and diversity of thinking arises from a diversity of backgrounds. That doesn't happen if all the shuttle crews continue to be Mercury-era ...more
Jessica Haider
Non-fiction graphic novel about the first women in space. I read about some of the women featured in this years ago for a book club pick: The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight.

More thoughts later.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would have been such a big space kid when I was 11-12 if I knew about all these women. It's wonderful to read about them now! ...more
Rod Brown
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, funny and inspiring -- the best kind of history. Astronaut Mary Cleave is a great narrator for this exploration of female astronauts -- the ones who should have been and the ones were -- as the U.S. space program stumbled slowly toward diversity. Star Trek fans will love the Nichelle Nichols cameo.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Astronaut Mary Cleave is the storyteller, telling some of her history and educational path that led to her work for NASA. One of her first "tests" to get into the Astronaut Corps was to fix some toilets in Headquarters.

I enjoyed this one, and Cleave's early adventures that spanned scientific fieldwork in the desert, as sea, and then in space. She flew on two spaceflights, and many other missions on the ground, going on to become Chief Scientist at NASA.
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: ASTRONAUTS: WOMEN ON THE FINAL FRONTIER by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks, First Second, February 2020, 176p., ISBN: 978-1-62672-677-6

“We come and go like a comet
We are wanderers, are you anymore?”
-- Paul Kantner, “Starship” (1970)

“I started flying when I was fourteen because I was a strange little kid that kept playing with model airplanes and...anyway, my parents were great.
My mother’s brother was a pilot, and he was killed in World War II. He was the only flier in our family. B
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphics-comics
Loved this! Had just recently heard a podcast about the women from the early 60s. Too bad they were not allowed to compete! But loved this retelling from Mary Cleave's point of view. Terrific graphic story! ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The art. The depth. The science. There were several different arcs in the narrative that created an excellent pacing for the introduction of the main participants in the story. And the detail in these parts of the story is exactly what is needed for young people, all people for that matter, to latch on to this history. The key to this book is the depth. There is no dumbing down of the science or the story.

Astronauts belongs in all middle and high school libraries. Young women
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I honestly didn't know too much about space history besides the planets which is why I thought to pick up this book or why students might pick it up as well. It was super exciting to read about women in space and how that came to be. I really enjoyed that it was super descriptive about the astronaut selection process and requirements because it will provide teenage readers with an idea of what is expected if this is a dream of theirs. I also loved that they provided historical information to sho ...more
3.5 stars adding an extra half star for my mom

This book, based on extensive interviews with Mary Cleave, tells the story of how she and other women made it to space in spite of the sexist attitudes of their day. This book is waaayy too long and technical for me. I'm not interested in space or STEM at all and I had no idea what Mary was talking about for 90% of the book. The title is a bit misleading as this is mostly Mary Cleave's story with an alternate storyline for Valentina Tereshkova in the
Joseph R.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel looks at the experiences of female astronauts, centering on NASA astronaut and scientist Mary Cleave. As a child, she wrote a letter to President Eisenhower asking to join the Astronaut Corps. He wrote back graciously declining her offer. Her ambition remained and was eventually fulfilled. The book chronicles all the challenges that went into joining the space program, with a little side stop in the Soviet Union to tell the story of Valentina Ponomaryova, the first female in s ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Done as a narration by Astronaut Mary Cleave, this book goes over the history of women astronauts and cosmonauts.

Nicely done. Straightforward, fun in places, such as when scientists were trying to figure out how many tampons women astronauts would need, rather than asking them.

Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great story; not just a biography, but a whole history of women in space.
Ellen Scheid
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier = AMAZING! Informative text with beautiful illustrations. I learned so much from reading this book! It isn't a long read, but it was jam packed with content. Since March is Women's History Month, this was the perfect time to read about what female astronauts endured during the process of being accepted to NASA, training, media attention, and launch. I will be giving a short review on this book for my co-workers this week and I am hoping to encourage them t ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Another amazing graphic novel from the duo of Ottaviani and Wicks. Told through the eyes of astronaut Mary Cleave - this novel looks at the history of women in space.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. Just great! I love that Jim and his co author are making a point of writing about women scientists. We need more illumination of the contributions women and people of color have made to science and exploration--too much focuses on white men only.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is really well done. Tons of information, smooth pacing, just the right level of detail.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a really in-depth great graphic novel! It actually took me a few days to read because there is a lot of information.
Becky B
A nonfiction graphic novel about the historic journey to space for women. The book looks at the first women who trained as astronauts and cosmonauts, and then follows the journey of Mary Cleave, one of the first American women to go into space, through her path to NASA, her training, and her experiences in space and afterward.

I know there is a book called Almost Astronauts that tells the story of the 13 American women who tested and trained to become astronauts but never got to go into space, bu
Palos Heights Public Library
A cool way to learn about the lesser-known and discussed role of women in the beginnings of the space discovery program. Graphic novel format makes the information accessible and interesting while also putting more of a story to a factual book. Recommended for young ones interested in space and learning more through a graphic novel format.

-Reviewed by Laura N.
Sophie Brown
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier is a graphic novel that follows the story of women in space told through the slightly fictionalized perspective of Mary Cleave. Beginning during Mary’s childhood, the book charts the changes that happened within the space program that eventually allowed women to not only become astronauts but serve in many other vital roles as well.

The story primarily follows the American space program, but several sections focus on the Soviets, specifically around the tim
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love the title of this book. I LOVE that the title isn't Women Astronauts. It's just Astronauts. Because it's not that Astronauts and men and Women Astronauts are something different. Right there, before you even open the book, you know this book's approach is somewhat different, in an awesome way.

This graphic novel traces the history of women in space, mostly at NASA, but also of Valentina Tereshkova, the Soviet Cosmonaut who went up in space way, way back before the US was even considering i
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Meet the first women to travel into space in this nonfiction graphic novel that has big appeal for Science Comics fans. Astronaut Dr. Mary Cleave navigates readers through the history of women and space travel, starting with the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space, and illustrates the long road American women had to take to get Group 9, NASA'S first mixed-gender class, to the stars. 

The most frustrating thing about Astronauts is reading how seemingly dete
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The team who brought us the Primates graphic novel continue their focus on women in science. This time they tell the story of Mary Cleave and how women were finally able to enter NASA has astronauts. It is the story of hard work and dedication, of insistence on being heard and knowing when to push. It is a story of proving the worth of women, undergoing a battery of tests and still being told no. The tale is a compelling one, a story of politics and science, of women’s right to be seen as valid ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do not skip the back matter.
Meredith Ann
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I always appreciate a good non-fiction graphic novel for younger readers and Astronauts is no exception. I found it really informative, with a lot to take in, and presented in a way not to overwhelm the reader. The art is wonderful and friendly. I do wish there was more about modern day astronauts but I did love the photo/art last few pages. The transitions between stories and eras could have been a little smoother but they're not impossible to understand. As far as age range, I'd say this strad ...more
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this non-fiction graphic novel about the first women in space. It included a lot of detail about what these women had to accomplish and overcome to become part of NASA and astronauts.. It definitely had a lot of historical information written in a way that I'd hand this to 10 and older. Hopefully this book will prompt children to read more about each individual woman mentioned in this book. Perhaps it will also inspire the next generation of female astronauts! #Netgalley ...more
Jason Furman
A young adult graphic novel about the first female astronauts is by the team that wrote the excellent Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas and the author of numerous other young adult graphic scientific biographies, most notably Feynman. Primates was a much more unique and interesting book, weaving primatology together with the lives and using it to better appreciate the psychology and behavior of the human subjects of the book. This was a little close ...more
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
This fun nonfiction graphic novel is about women's journey into space and the lengths and hardships it took to get there!

Narrated by former US astronaut, Mary Cleave, this informative read shares her personal life story, starting as a child that wanted nothing more than to be a pilot and working up to being an actual astronaut that made it to space! Also told from Mary Cleave's pov, this book covers different milestones of the space program/s, such as stories and insights into other women's jour
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I've worked in news agencies and golf courses in the Chicagoland area, nuclear reactors in the U.S. and Japan, and libraries in Michigan. I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists. When I'm not doing those things, I'm spraining my ankles and flattening my feet by running on trails. Or I'm reading. I read a lot. ...more

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