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Jennifer Sommer to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “Her Eyes Were On the Stars: Nancy Grace Roman, “Mother of Hubble” Space Telescope”

Jennifer Sommer to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “Her Eyes Were On the Stars: Nancy Grace Roman, “Mother of Hubble” Space Telescope”

August 29, 2023





What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?


This picture book biography tells the story of how a young star lover overcame odds to become an astronomer and eventually become Chief of Astronomy at NASA. Nancy Grace ultimately became affectionately known as “Mother of Hubble” after her efforts to develop the design and acquire the funding for the Hubble Telescope.


Whom do you invite to stop by? Who will benefit from reading your book?

Kids with an interest in biographies, science, astronomy, NASA, the Hubble Telescope, space, strong women or role models, or people who face challenges head on will enjoy this book. Though the vocabulary is a little high, it may be read aloud to younger kids who will enjoy it just as much as older children. Also, if you love timelines, or additional information about the story, those are also included. And the artwork is beautiful too!


Could you please tell us something curious about you and/or your book?

I initially had a telephone interview with Dr. Roman for my research for this book, but when I met her in person, she was 91 years old. She was still talking to groups about astronomy, and had recently given one to her senior living community, where we shared noodle soup one afternoon. She was treated like a rock star. Everyone knew her and about her accomplishments. I had learned during the telephone interview that she used a specific book for her astronomy club when she was a child. I located a copy on Ebay and brought it with me for her to autograph, which she did. That book is mentioned in my picture book, and I display the autographed copy on my table at book events.


Is this your first time participating in Kentucky Book Festival? If yes – what are you looking forward to the most? If you’ve participated before – what was your favorite experience at the Festival?

This is my first time participating at the Kentucky Book Festival and I’ll be so excited to be back in Lexington! After attending the University of Kentucky, I moved to Dayton for my job and I have missed Lexington ever since. I hope I see familiar faces in the crowd and that my book will make my hometown proud.



Jennifer Sommer is the 2014 winner of the Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award for a work in progress. Her Eyes Were on the Stars is a picture book biography that introduces young readers to a female scientist in the field of astronomy.

Thank you!

Thanks so much to all who attended this year’s festival! Please provide feedback about your experience by submitting a survey. 

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