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Lake Oswego Reads 2017 - The Rocket Girls

2017 Book Selection for Lake Oswego Reads

Want a copy of Rise of the Rocket Girls?  The Booktique is selling new books for $11.50.  Mercantile Medical Plaza, Building 3975 at the corner of Boones Ferry Road and Kruse Way.  Store hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm.  Wednesday: 10 am to 7 pm. 

Copies of Rise of the Rocket Girls are also on sale at Lake Oswego Ace Hardware at 55 S. State Street for $26.99.


See a list of characters from Rise of the Rocket Girls below.


Book Discussion Questions are also below.



August 25, 2016

Lake Oswego Reads Announces Book for 2017

The Lake Oswego Public Library has selected Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt as the 2017 book for its award winning citywide reading program.

Rise of the Rocket Girls is the true story of the women called “computers” who launched America into space.  In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly created Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.

For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.

Library Director Bill Baars said, “Nathalia Holt's Rise of the Rocket Girls provides a fascinating insight into the work of the first “computers,” the dedicated women who worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and were an integral part of guiding us to the moon and beyond. February will be another terrific month of conversations and events. We’ve had some great Lake Oswego Reads programs but this one should be out of this world.”

Nathalia Holt, Ph.D. is a science writer who also wrote Cured: The People who Defeated HIV. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time. She has trained at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University, the University of Southern California, and Tulane University. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in Boston, MA.  Thanks to the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, Holt will be speaking in Lake Oswego in February.

The official kickoff of Lake Oswego Reads will be on January 9, 2017.  As has been the practice for all 11 years, a free book will be distributed to Lake Oswego Public Library card holders, thanks to the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library. 

The Lake Oswego Reads committee is presently developing a schedule of programs for February so that Lake Oswego residents can not only discuss Rise of the Rocket Girls but also experience the book with speakers, music, food, displays, art and more.  The Library is asking the community for suggestions for speakers who live in the Lake Oswego area who were astronauts, worked at JPL, NASA or are experts on topics related to rockets and space exploration.  Please contact Cyndie Glazer at 503-675-2538 or

This will be the program’s 11th year and all events will be free thanks to financial support from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego Rotary Club and the Lake Oswego Review.

Rise of the Rockets Girls was selected by the Steering Committee for Lake Oswego Reads, consisting of librarians, community leaders, high school English teachers and high school students.  After this year’s successful selection of Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan the committee knew it would be challenging to find another great book for 2017.  After reading and discussing 28 books, the committee is excited to have selected Rise of Rocket Girls