Mary & the Moon
Dawn Spinella

As America races to be the first on the moon, an unlikely middle-aged woman without a college degree solves the Titan rocket engine problems that the Aerojet scientists can't, helping America reach the moon and teaching her daughter that anything is possible. Mary & the Moon is based on the true story of my grandmother. The family myth about my grandmother was vague. Nobody knew how she figured out the problems, or what the solutions were. Fortunately, I ran into a family friend who remembered my grandmother talking about the problems with his father. What luck! I think Grandma was watching out for me. Writing this story was extremely challenging, not only because of the immense amount research, but because I had only known my grandmother as the sweetest loving woman in the world. I didn't know what kind of relationship she had with my grandfather, what her deepest fears were or how she felt about her success. The personal research was difficult, but ultimately I feel closer to my grandmother for having taken this journey with her. She remains one of my greatest role models.