Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation’s first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.
Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross’s journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. In addition, the narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all.
An American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Picture Book
Traci Sorell is the author of Sibert, Orbis Pictus, AILA American Indian Youth Literature Award, and Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. Her title Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer was also named an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and a AILA American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.
Natasha Donovan is the illustrator of the award-winning Mothers of Xsan series (written by Brett Huson). She illustrated the graphic novel Surviving the City (written by Tasha Spillett), which won a Manitoba Book Award and received an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA) honor. She also illustrated Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer which won an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA). Natasha is Métis, and spent her early life in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although she moved to the United States to marry a mathematician, she prefers to keep her own calculations to the world of color and line. She lives in Washington.
“A stellar addition to the genre that will launch careers and inspire for generations, it deserves space alongside stories of other world leaders and innovators.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
“Through realistically cartooned digital illustrations and straightforward text, readers learn how Ross’s experiences reflected these traits. Because she valued learning and had a passion for math, Ross was able to persevere.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“[S]potlights the story of an innovative Cherokee aerospace engineer, whose life sets an inspiring example for all children.”—School Library Journal
“[A] valuable addition to units on Indigenous individuals or women in STEM.”—Booklist
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