Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures

“Their path to advancement might look less like a straight line and more like some of the pressure distributions and orbits they plotted, but they were determined to take a seat at the table.”

In a time when bathrooms were still segregated in America, African-American women were making strides as mathematicians in aviation and space fields. In Langley, Va., women of all races were hired to work as “computers” – people who did computations before what we know as computers were invented. They were good at what they did and as the engineers got to know them and their skills, walls fell in people’s lives for how they viewed “people of color.” Their stories are told in Hidden Figures.

When I saw the previews for the movie Hidden Figures, I immediately went to see if it was based on a book – and it was. It took a while before I got around to reading it, but I knew I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie. One of my daughters found the young adult version of the book and started reading it, so I found the adult copy and read with her. Then we watched the movie together.

My daughter said, “It was a very interesting book. It shows the untold stories of some amazing women in history.”

Both my daughter and I found the book hard to follow at some points. It’s a non-fiction book and it’s got a lot of facts about the women’s lives and backgrounds. It was hard for me at some parts to keep the women straight. Their story was fascinating, though. I’m just amazed sometimes at how the whole country didn’t wake up sooner to start treating everyone as valuable. The women in the book had great courage and really enjoyed their jobs and making a difference for their country.

The movie did a great job of bringing the characters alive and showing the obstacles they had to overcome. While I would recommend reading the book for more details, at least watch the movie at some point so you are familiar with these women’s stories. I know my daughter’s are richer for being exposed to this part of history. We need to know our history.

Did you watch Hidden Figures? Would you consider reading the book? Comment below!

Buy Hidden Figures here (affiliate link).


About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.