Spaceman: The True Story of a Young Boy’s Journey To Becoming an Astronaut

Delacorte. Apr. 2020. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593120866.
Gr 4-8–Massimino’s young readers’ adaptation of his best-selling adult autobiography is more than just an appealing and accessible chronicle of becoming an astronaut. The chronological narrative describes the author’s nontraditional path to joining NASA, and his personal, academic, and professional challenges. Woven throughout his story is a message about the importance of perseverance, initiative, and optimism. The author repeatedly emphasizes that his willingness to work hard, to accept useful criticism, and to never give up ultimately helped him accomplish his dream of space flight. Told in a conversational style, the text is full of relevant details, yet never reads as didactic or dry. While the subject matter and language are somewhat technical for younger students, those who share Massimino’s passion will be captivated by his story.
VERDICT From his childhood days peering up at the sky to his struggles to find his life’s calling, Massimino’s story will inspire many kids. Recommended for precocious elementary readers with an interest in space and general junior high nonfiction collections.

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