In a worthy but unconvincing attempt to provide role models for girls thinking about careers in science, Friend introduces four women who worked as engineers during the Apollo Program, mentioning their employers and projects, but using gushy generalities ("Imagine how thrilled Bobbie was by all this!") rather than direct quotations or specific descriptions of their work. Systematic résumés are relegated to smaller type at the end. Each of these scientists does seem to have played a significant role in developing space-related technology, and, unsurprisingly, each had gender expectations and other obstacles to overcome before being able to practice her profession, so their stories make, at least potentially, inspiring reading. The production, however, is less than inspiring; small photos at the end hint at each subject's strong, distinctive personality, but the garishly colored portraits accompanying each chapter look as if they were done by a preschooler with fingerpaints. Furthermore, the book closes with a pair of superfluous science demonstrations, random "Fun Facts" filler, and advertisements for two of the book's corporate sponsors. Consider for collections where this publisher's related "You Can Be a Woman�" series is popular-but only after adding Catherine Thimmesh's Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon (Houghton, 2006).
John PetersCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.