Blog Tour: Erma Does the Math, Ann Strawn

Book Review: Erma Does the Math, Ann Strawn

Book Review: Erma Does the Math, Ann Strawn

Nonfiction/Biography: Erma Does the Math, Ann Strawn

 

This book is an obvious labor of for author Ann Strawn about her great aunt Erma Tynes Walker. Erma worked alongside Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson as part of the team of African American women who calculated the flight paths for the early space program. The story is told in dialogue between Erma and Tameka, her niece visiting on Erma’s birthday. Throughout the afternoon together, Erma gently guides Tameka through a few everyday math problems and introduces her niece to the work her team did in math in the Flight Analysis Department.

 

This book’s suggested target audience is 6-8 year olds. The gentle graphics and the alternate color fonts for each speaker do well to support early independent readers. However, be ready to answer questions; the historical context of American segregation in the workforce in addition to math concepts such as meters per seconds squared to escape Earth’s gravity which will probably make more sense to older children. This book will pair well with other picture book biographies of African Americans and women in STEM fields.

 

When we were children, the work of the “Langley computers” was barely known beyond the perimeter of NASA’s offices. Long past time they are getting some of the recognition they deserved. In a larger sense, true stories of women of color (with very few exceptions) were hard to find in the 1970s and ’80s and those being published were considered very niche in their appeal. Now, as grandparents of eager and intelligent young girls with their whole futures in front of them, we are pleased that books like Erma Does the Maths are not only being published but that inspirational figures like Erma Tynes Walker and the other Langley computers show that STEM opportunities do not only belong to people who fit a certain preconceived mold.

 

Ann Strawn, Author
Ann Strawn, Author

Erma Does The Math

Our thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources Blog Tours for inviting us to review this book and providing our digital copy of this book in exchange for our honest review. For other perspectives on this book, check out the other participating bloggers on this tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla.

 

Book Review: Erma Does the Math, Ann Strawn

Book Review: Erma Does the Math, Ann Strawn

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