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  Becoming a Spacewalker: My Journey to the Stars (Jerry Ross)

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Author Topic:   Becoming a Spacewalker: My Journey to the Stars (Jerry Ross)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30198
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2014 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Becoming a Spacewalker: My Journey to the Stars
by Jerry Ross and Susan G. Gunderson
This nonfiction picture book is a children's version of NASA astronaut Jerry L. Ross's autobiography, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, designed for ages 7–12. Told in friendly first-person narration, it represents how Ross followed his dream from rural 1950s northern Indiana to Purdue University and then outer space.

The thirty-two-page book is illustrated with personal photos and memorabilia. It is formatted into twenty-three narratives organized in chronological order illustrating events and experiences in Ross's life. Pages attractively interweave photos and text while prompts encourage readers to engage in in the story.

Ross possessed specific character traits that helped him make choices and overcome obstacles as he struggled against the odds to realize his dream: curiosity, persistence, and believing in oneself. As the story unfolds and readers begin to make personal connections with Ross, his approach to problem solving and working through setbacks provides a powerful example for children.

Content area concepts are integrated throughout the story, including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, math, visual literacy, financial literacy, geography, flight, and the race to space. Gravity, for example, is a major theme illustrated within the content of the story. Online guides for teachers using the book in a classroom setting (third to fourth grade recommended) are linked to throughout.

A map of the United States on the inside front cover invites children to follow the path of Ross's journey from Crown Point, Indiana, to Kennedy Space Center. A timeline on the inside back cover compares and contrasts benchmark events in Ross's life and career with important events in flight and space travel history.

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Purdue University Press (September 15, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1557536937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557536938


Posts: 1085
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-06-2014 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds good. I put in my Amazon review of his original book that it should be given to any young person with a dream. But that said, it might not be the most interesting reading for really young readers. I'm really glad to see a 'kid friendly' version of his story will be in print. Colonel Ross does an amazing personal presentation, one which I think would really light a fire under some kids. Such a shame that so few will ever get to meet him in person.

But a book intended for kids is a great place to start.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30198
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-30-2014 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's an excerpt from the text to appear on the back page of "Becoming a Spacewalker: My Journey to the Stars":
Young Jerry Ross had a dream to one day fly in outer space. Only there was a problem. The year was 1957, and no human being in history had ever been launched into space.

But Jerry was curious. He wanted to learn about satellites and rockets. So he made scrapbooks about America's budding space program. His 4th grade teacher challenged him to reach further.

With his dream in mind, young Jerry decided upon a plan. He would go to Purdue University, learn to be an engineer, and fly in space. His dream became his lifelong journey.

In this book, Jerry Ross recounts his journey with engaging stories, personal photographs, and memorabilia. Chart his path on the map inside the front cover. Study the historical timeline located inside the back cover. Most of all, read this book to find out how Jerry Ross fought through obstacles and disappointments to fulfill his dream of becoming a spacewalking NASA astronaut.

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