Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space
Lynn Sherr
Simon & Schuster, 2014

Based on exclusive interviews with Sally Ride's friends and family, including her partner, Tam O'Shaughnessy, this biography tells the fullest life story yet of America's first female astronaut. Sherr, a longtime journalist who covered the space shuttle program for ABC News, was also a close friend of Ride's. Sherr admits, however, that parts of the astronaut's history—including her long-term relationship with O'Shaughnessy—came as a surprise after Ride's death because Ride was fiercely private, keeping even friends “from knowing her completely.” Sherr tells of an astronaut who was “at heart, a scientist” and who devoted her post-NASA years to inspiring children, especially girls, to pursue science. “NASA was her launchpad, not her apogee,” Sherr writes, “and no challenge matched the thrill of sensing the neurons firing to make new connections in a young girl's brain.”