Reviewed by Debbie Reese
Sorell’s Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer is receiving starred reviews from the major children’s literature review journals. And, I’ll add, with good reason! Sorell is Cherokee. The book, focusing on a Cherokee aerospace engineer, is tribally specific. And people interested in STEM will love what they’ll find in this picture book. You can read it aloud, and you can watch the video format where DeLanna Studi provides the narration. Like Sorell, she is Cherokee.
Back when I was a kid, I liked biographies and I would have liked this biography of Mary Golda Ross. Some things beckon to me in a personal sense. She worked at Santa Fe Indian School as a girls advisor. My parents and grandparents went there, and I taught there for awhile. I didn’t know about her, then. From what I can tell, she worked at SFIS after my grandmother was there and before my parents attended the school. The timeline in the back of the book says she was there to advise female students. These advisors played significant roles! I remember both my parents talking fondly about their advisors. Continue reading.
Classified by Traci Sorell
Published by Millbrook Press ™ on March 2, 2021
Genres: American Indians First Nations Metis Inuit
Reading Level: Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
Also by this author: We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, Indian No More, At the Mountain's Base
Publisher's Synopsis: 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.
"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