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Parents' Guide to

Mae Among the Stars

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Simple bio of first African American female astronaut.

Mae Among the Stars Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 1 parent review

age 4+

Simple yet powerful introduction to an often taboo subject for young kids...racism

In a simple phrase, Mae's white teacher tells her she should consider a profession like nursing, versus following her dream of becoming an astronaut. This is a subtle message that conveys a deeply racist belief of Mae's time...that little black girls could not become anything but what white people believed was appropriate for them. Despite that, Mae went on to follow her dream as her parent's supported her. A great book to introduce your children to social injustice and teach them that these behaviors and beliefs still exist today. If you want to illustrate racism and privilege to your child, this book will allow you to have a very thoughtful discussion.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

A biography of an African American woman who triumphed in a STEM field is always welcome, though this picture book about astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison could have had a bit more substance. Mae Among the Stars focuses on Jemison's childhood, when "Little Mae was a dreamer" and got the idea that she wanted to see Earth from space. Her mom takes her to the library where she "searched for books about space and astronauts," and Mae makes an "astronaut costume out of old orange curtains and cardboard boxes." These details help bring young Mae alive for the reader. When she asks her dad, "But how do I become an astronaut?" he answers, "If you can dream it, believe in it, and work hard for it, anything is possible." This refrain, strong on emotional encouragement but light on specifics, is repeated throughout by her supportive parents.

The art by Stasia Burrington is cute and appealing, though somewhat generic, making this portrait of a smart, determined, science-minded girl and her supportive family best for the very young.

Book Details

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