What to Read: Picture Books About Women in Space

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Studying the women who impacted astronomy and space travel with your kiddos? You’re in luck: I’m sharing our favorite picture books about women in space to help you learn.

What to Read: Picture Books About Women in Space

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Some of these picture books are about women who made groundbreaking astronomical discoveries and some of these share the stories of women who traveled to space. Then there are some books on this list that shine the spotlight on women who made remarkable behind the scenes contributions to space science.

Regardless which of these books you dive into, I’m confident you and your kiddos will be inspired to dream big and reach for the stars just like these incredible women celebrated in these pages.

Behind every great man is a great woman... even when it comes to space travel and astronomy. #womeninscienceClick to Tweet

Picture Books About Women in Space

1. Caroline’s Comets: A True Story

When it comes to topics like space science, I love including books about women who paved the way for modern space travel. That’s where books like Caroline’s Comets and Look Up! come into the picture.

As for Caroline’s Comets in particular, we’ve never met an Emily Arnold McCully book we didn’t like. This book is no exception; it’s a wonderful way to learn about Caroline Herschel, a German scientist and astronomer who studied the sky, made incredible discoveries, and became the first employed women astronomer. The best part? All of this happened in 1787 and her employer was England’s King George III.

2. Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer

Henrietta Leavitt may not be someone we think of when discussing women in space today, but her discoveries regarding stars and their patterns certainly make her someone who impacted astronomy greatly. That’s why Look Up! is a great addition to this list of picture books about women in space.

3. Margaret and the Moon

Margaret and the Moon shares the story of a math-loving Margaret Hamilton, her journey to MIT and NASA, and how her coding impacted four Apollo missions.

4. Hidden Figures

Based on the 2016 motion picture with the same name, Hidden Figures spotlights Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, four brilliant women who worked behind the scenes to make space travel happen.

In addition to the challenges they faced and overcame, this book includes detailed bios and a timeline weaving their contributions into the overall picture of modern space science. 

5. Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13

Speaking of Hidden Figures, Counting on Katherine shines the spotlight on NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and her important role in the historic Apollo 13 moon landing.

Similarly, A Computer Called Katherine is another good picture book option for learning about Katherine Johnson and her contributions to the Apollo 13 mission.

6. Mae Among the Stars

Mae Among the Stars is a sweet picture book about Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space. Also, much of the book focuses on Mae’s childhood dream of going to space, making it an especially inspiring read for younger kiddos.

7. To the Stars: the First Woman to Walk in Space

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be the first woman to walk in space? To the Stars shares this experience by following the life and legacy of Dr. Kathryn Sullivan. Also worth noting, details about Dr. Sullivan’s career and other firsts by women in space are included in the back of the book.

8. Path to the Stars

Another behind-the-scenes story, Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist focuses on Latina rocket scientist Sylvia Acevedo and her path from scouting to engineering and work in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

9. Astronaut Annie

This lovely picture book isn’t about women astronauts or even the women making space travel possible behind the scenes. Instead, this book encourages children to reach for the stars by introducing them to Annie, a little girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Although it’s fictional, it does, however, include several bios for Sally Ride, Kathryn Sullivan, and other women in space.

10. Galaxy Girls

Ready to dig deeper and learn more about women in space? Galaxy Girls goes beyond picture book presentations and showcases 50 women who impacted space science. In addition to the 50 featured women, it includes fun interactive pages that encourage readers to think of their own space travel.


What about you? Do you have a favorite book about women in space? Share it with us below so we can look for it. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “What to Read: Picture Books About Women in Space

  1. path to the stars and counting on katherine I’ve read before. 🙂 The rest look interesting, i would like to see mae among the stars the most I think.

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