Parents' Guide to

Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Powerful true story of African American women at NASA.

Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Excellent Book About Early Space Race; Great STEM, Civil Rigjts, and Women’s History Content

I bought this for my son (10) and ultimately to donate to our school library but my 8 year old daughter picked it up. We watched the movie together (also recommended) and she is a strong reader so I let her read it. This is an excellent, well researched upper elementary and middle grade nonfiction title. Note that while the content is fine for an 8 year old the reading level is quite high (1130 Lexile) with a lot of challenging scientific terms. We also had some good discussions about the fight for civil rights and segregation. .

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Chockablock with historical detail, this book celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of four African-American female math whizzes who worked for NASA during segregation inspires mightily. Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition covers much of the same territory of the film Hidden Figures, though it starts earlier than the space race, in 1943, giving readers a sense of the World War II years as well. Author Margot Lee Shetterly excels at providing historical context, and since she wrote this version of the book for young readers, she's careful to explain information that might be familiar to adults. For instance, she provides a list of ways blacks and whites were kept separate under segregation laws and explains that in World War II the Germans "were fighting on the other side of the war."

Shetterly also takes her job as historian seriously and doesn't overly spice the story by attributing unverifiable thoughts or dialogue to the women; the sources for all dialogue are credited at the end of the book. This might make the material a bit drier in places than kid readers are used to, so the book and film could enrich each other with pairing. These powerful STEM models who succeeded despite societal restrictions are a potent inspiration to young African-American girls -- and everyone.

Book Details

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