This summer, everyone will be remembering the epic achievements of the Space Program 50 years ago when they landed the first man on the Moon. It took years and many men and women’s hard work and courage to reach that point (for more on the epic Apollo missions, check out Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon). The first lap in the race to the Moon was the Mercury missions, and John Glenn was the pioneer of those missions, the first American astronaut to take the daring trip around the Earth.
With the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, many educators and libraries are focusing on space-themed summer reading programs, like StarNet’s fantastic “Summer of Space,” to encourage readers to celebrate the history of space exploration and inspire children to dream big. Rocket Man is the perfect middle grade book to supplement these amazing learning programs and resources because of its personal look at the men who were willing to do something that had never been done before.
Ruth Ashby’s dramatic story of John Glenn’s near-disastrous mission in Friendship 7 takes young readers through his small-town Ohio childhood, his extraordinary experiences as a fighter pilot in two wars, and his life as an astronaut in the prestigious and dangerous Mercury 7 program. The book concludes with Glenn’s successful career as a U.S. senator and his triumphant return to space in 1998 at the age of 77.
Rocket Man was an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, and made the NSTA Recommended list when it was published. Get a glimpse inside the book by reading an excerpt.
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“Highly readable… Ashby also skillfully includes historical events in the narrative.” ―School Library Journal
“This is a must-read for its historical perspective on the space program as well as its inspirational story.” ―Science and Children