Project Description

Rocket Man PB

Rocket Man

The Mercury Adventure of John Glenn

by Ruth Ashby
illustrated by Robert Hunt

On February 20, 1962, as millions of Americans waited anxiously, astronaut John Glenn blasted off in his rocket ship, Friendship 7,  and became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Although the risks of such a mission for Friendship 7 were well known, no one including Glenn knew the peril he was about to encounter in space. John Glenn was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts, the early pioneers of manned space flight. His historic flight followed years of intensive physical training and a devotion to a career in the exciting but risk-filled world of aviation.

Ruth Ashby’s dramatic story of John Glenn’s near-disastrous mission in Friendship 7 also 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.

Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-68263-104-1
Publication Date: 2/1/2019
Page Count: 124
Size: 5-1/2 ̎ x 7-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 7–10
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-745-8
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 6.1
F&P: GRL T, Gr 5, Genre B
Lexile: 870L
Themes: John Glenn, Space Travel
BISAC 1: JUV004020 JUVENILE FICTION / Biographical / United States
BISAC 2: JUV016150 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century
BISAC 3: JUV036000 JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Technology


“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

“An excellent book because it is informative, keeps the reader’s attention, and shows the persistence of a true hero. The author, Ruth Ashby has drawn from a notable circle of information including Glenn’s own memoir.” ―ACS Readers Haven


Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 ―NSTA/CBC 2005

NSTA Recommends ―National Science Teachers Association

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2005

Volunteer State Book Awards (Master List, 4-6) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians, 2007-2008

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Meet the Author

Ruth Ashby is the award-winning author of dozens of nonfiction and fiction books for juvenile readers. She lives in New York.

Meet the Illustrator

Robert Hunt received a BA from the University of California and an MA from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. His work has appeared on the covers of books by many leading authors and has received numerous awards, including ten gold medals from the San Francisco Society of Illustrators. He lives in California.