Parents' Guide to

My Journey to the Stars

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Exciting memoir rockets future astronauts to space.

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Scott Kelly describes his descent back to Earth after a year in space as a "wild ride," and in this exciting autobiography, readers ride along and learn about his inspiring career with NASA. Since the book spans childhood through his time as an astronaut, there's a lot for kids to relate to. Kelly offers personal information that might not at first seem pertinent to his career -- his parents fought loudly and divorced -- but then he talks very concretely about how he managed to turn negatives into positives. He frankly admits he was a terrible student who couldn't sit still, until he got a dream and was able to make a step-by-step plan to achieve it -- info that could be encouraging and useful for kids who struggle academically. Throughout, he urges readers to take risks and push themselves to aim high.

The book's also chock-full of science information, easy to digest in the personal memoir format. It touches on space missions, gravity, the effects of a prolonged space stay, research that utilizes twins, growing plants in space, and lots more. The art, heavy on photographs, is supplemented with illustration. All in all, this is a solid book on a topic of strong interest to lots of kids.

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