Cover image for Find where the wind goes : moments from my life
Find where the wind goes : moments from my life
Jemison, Mae, 1956-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xi, 196 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
960 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.2 7.0 52613.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.5 11 Quiz: 24315 Guided reading level: X.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL789.85.J46 J45 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
TL789.85.J46 J45 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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Dr. Mae Jemison--chemical engineer, scientist, teacher, and the first African-American woman to go into space--shares the story of her life. In this autobiography, she traces her life from her childhood determination to fly into space to when she made history as she blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavor.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. This breezy autobiography introducing astronaut Mae Jemison's early life and subsequent brilliant career is a treat. Jemison's vitality, intelligence, and humor shine through the book, and she has a fascinating and inspiring life story to tell. When kindergartener Mae told her teacher she wanted to be a scientist, the woman replied, "Don'st you mean a nurse?" Mae held her ground. Hands on hips, she replied, "No, I mean a scientist." That intelligence and strength of character, combined with love of family and friends, helped Jemison overcome gender and race prejudice to become a winner who entered Stanford University at the age of 16 and never looked back. Over the years, she has been a chemical engineer, a medical doctor, a Peace Corps medical officer, an astronaut--and the first woman of color to travel in space. After six years in NASA, she went on to become a college professor, head of her own technology firm, and creator of an international science camp. What a woman! --Jean Franklin

Publisher's Weekly Review

In an accessible, conversational tone, first-time children's author Jemison offers insight into her remarkable life, from her announcement in kindergarten, in 1961, that she wanted "to be a scientist" to her realization of her dream as "the first woman of color in the world to travel into space." Jemison observes, "I'm struck by how the flow of life events is like the wind," and, as if sitting on a stoop, she gathers readers in as she recounts the "large, small and medium-sized moments that have carried me aloft to this place, this day." At times, the wind metaphor becomes overblown, and a few digressions lead the narrative astray (e.g., a passage about being hit on the head by a sibling; a brief treatise directed at readers, "Take the high school and college romance, boy/girl stuff, with a huge grain of salt..."). But the writing sings, for example, when Jemison recalls her blossoming interest in science, relating her work on a third grade report about "the evolution of life on planet Earth" and a high school sickle-cell anemia project (students could almost follow the process she outlines here as a blueprint for their own science fair projects). Another standout section is her account of a high school gang's attempt to draft her older brother; her parents' response to the situation, which speaks volumes about their unwavering commitment to their family and education, clearly influenced the author. Some readers may wish for more of the defining moments that made Jemison a hero. (The author glosses over her jump from the Peace Corps to NASA, for instance.) However, this inspiring autobiography is a testimony to the power of setting goals and the strength of character necessary to achieve them. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, has been creating her own wind, and following it, for much of her life, as this conversational autobiography reveals. Beginning with a childhood desire to be a scientist, she moved steadily toward that goal. She graduated from an integrated south side Chicago high school at 16. At Stanford, where she received a degree in chemical engineering, she encountered, for the first time, teachers who doubted her ability because of her gender and her race. One summer, while attending Cornell Medical School, she went to Africa. After a rotating general practice internship, she returned to Africa to serve as Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone for two and a half years. Returning to the States to work as a doctor in Los Angeles, she applied for astronaut training. Jemison recounts her story in a chatty mode, with occasional digressions and side comments. Readers who have followed her roughly chronological path from birth to Africa will be surprised to find her suddenly launched into space before the flashback to astronaut selection and training. The last short section covering her astronaut experiences will disappoint readers who have enjoyed the more discursive pace of the rest of the book and the many memorable vignettes, such as the tone-deaf Jemison auditioning for West Side Story. The sometimes awkward flow of the prose is unfortunate in this otherwise appealing glimpse into the early life of an impressive woman already inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.