NONFICTION

From Farm Worker to Astronaut: My Path to the Stars/De campesino a astronaut: Mi viaje a las estrellas

Piñata. Oct. 2019. 384p. glossary. photos. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781558858688.
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Gr 3-6–This bilingual English-Spanish memoir chronicles a rocket launch and a NASA mission. The book offers important information about space and engineering but also recounts how Hernández, whose family is from Mexico, overcame social and educational barriers to become an astronaut. Snatches of the author’s life story are peppered throughout short chapters that capture the moments of a space mission. In multiple scenes, Hernández orbits Earth and poetically reflects on his and his family’s journeys.
VERDICT This memoir, complete with glossaries in both English and Spanish, drawings of important technical details, and photos from the author’s childhood, is an ideal read for students who are excited about the expanses of the universe. Hernández makes his message clear: If you have a dream, you can achieve it; you just need to be ready to fail a few times first.

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