CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 15. . . .December 15, 2017
My Journey to the Stars.
Scott Kelly with Emily Easton. Illustrations by Andrť Ceolin.
New York, NY: Crown Books for Young Readers (Distributed in Canada by
Penguin Canada ), 2017.
48 pp., hardcover & ebook, $22.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-73526-348-2 (hc.), ISBN 978-0-73526-349-9 (ebook).
Astronauts-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Tanya Boudreau.
Itís been 340 days since I set foot on Earth. Iíve spent almost a full year living and working on the International Space Station (ISS). Itís the hardest thing Iíve ever done.
I miss fresh air and the feel of rain on my face. I miss hugging my daughters and my girlfriend, Amiko.
At last, itís time to get into the spaceship that will take me home.
Before Scott Kelly was the first astronaut to spend almost a full year in space, he was a kid living in New Jersey, ďalways ready for adventureĒ. Scott, who has a twin brother, endured tough times as a child (a car accident, parents fighting, being a poor student) but with the help of a principal who believed in him and volunteer experience on an ambulance unit, he settled on a goal Ė flight school. There were challenges here too. ďThe first time I tried to land on a moving ship, I couldnít do itĒ, but Scott didnít give up. Eventually Scott and his brother Mark joined NASA and flew on space shuttles and the ISS. To help NASA learn about sending people to Mars, the brothers endured 400 experiments (Mark on Earth and Scott in space) so scientists could compare the effects on them. After some serious setbacks, including an emergency fix of the ISS, and losing two unmanned supply ships, Scott was sent back to earth to see his family; and to enjoy his first shower in nearly a year.
The artwork in this nonfiction picture book combines Ceolinís full page illustrations with Scott Kellyís colour photographs. They begin when Scott is a preschooler doing outdoor activities with his brother and parents. The artwork captures happy memories (times with his grandparents), times when he felt close to his parents (when he helped his mom train to become a police officer), and important people he met throughout his life (his girlfriend, his graduating class, and crew members from the Russian Soyuz). The drawings, which will appeal to younger children, allow the author to provide more detail about the important times in his life where no photographs exist.
Just as Scott Kelly was inspired by a book when he was growing up, My Journey to the Stars, too, has all the excitement and risk inside to inspire a new generation of children who dream of peace, adventure, or problem-solving.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake Public Library.
© CM Association
University of Manitoba
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