- Would You Like To Live In Space 340 Days? -
Scott Kelly tells an abbreviated story of what led him to become an astronaut and what it was like living in space for almost a year. It opens with Kelly’s departure from the International Space Station, where he spent a record-breaking 340 days and is finally heading home. His identical twin and fellow astronaut, Mark Kelly, is waiting for him on his return to Earth.
There are things that happened in his family life that led him to become better prepared to reach his goals of being a test pilot and then later an astronaut. Many of these things are explained in What I Liked Best, below.
This picture book released simultaneously with Astronaut Kelly’s adult memoir, Endurance.
What Concerned Me: For some, there might be a little too much frankness about family issues, especially regarding Kelly's parents who didn't always get along.
“It was scary when they argued. Mark and I would hide in our room.”It also states that he and his brothers would take risks and that sometimes they would get hurt.
“But every time we took a risk, we pushed our limits and aimed higher.”Continue reading below for explanations about some of this frankness.
What I Liked Best: Regarding things that might possibly bother parents (above), I believe the author mentions these things to offer hope and insights to kids.
“Watching our parents fight turned Mark and me into peacemakers. We can get along with almost anyone.”He also points out that they learned to stay calm in tough times, which has helped them lead crews in space.
We learn that Kelly's mother wanted to be on the police force and that his dad, who was already a police officer, was very supportive of his wife. He even built her a training course in their backyard. The hardest part for her was climbing the wall. But with perseverance and time she got better and better until she was able to pass the test and become an officer in New Jersey. Her success was an example to the boys that she had a big dream, since being a female officer was rare in the 1970s. She demonstrated that perseverance and a step by step plan can occasionally make big dreams become reality.
Kelly admits he was a terrible student that couldn't sit still or pay attention in class. But when he picked up the book The Right Stuff he read that test pilots go FAST, go HIGH, sometimes SOAR, and unfortunately can CRASH. The book changed his life. He knew what he wanted to be, so he set a step by step plan to succeed (an example he learned from his mother). His plan began with doing homework. (I feel his earlier reference to being somewhat of a daredevil as a child preludes this decision.)
I would highly recommend this inspirational book for children interested in space.
Though the word count is longer than many picture books, it is filled with illustrations as well as NASA photos and some family snapshots of the Kelly family.
Author: Scott Kelly
Illustrator: André Ceolin
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (October 2017)
Approx. Word Count: 1821Ages: 5 - 8
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