Taking Off

Jenny Moss, Walker, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8027-2193-8
It is 1986 and Annie, a timid high school senior, lives in Clear Lake, Tex., where astronauts are training for the next flight of the Challenger space shuttle. Annie's possessive boyfriend wants to get married after they graduate; her mother wants her to go to college; and Annie, whose secret dream is to be a poet, is paralyzed with indecision. Through Annie's best friend Lea, the daughter of NASA parents, Annie meets Christa McAuliffe, the first participant in the Teacher in Space Project. McAuliffe inspires Annie to start making her own choices, the first being a road trip to see the Challenger launch with her father and his young, handsome co-worker, who soon has Annie rethinking her current relationship. Motivated by McAuliffe's bravery, Annie pushes past her fears to take her future into her own hands. Moss (Shadow), a former NASA employee who helped train crew members for this Challenger mission, makes McAuliffe perhaps too idealized a figure, but teens should relate to indecisive Annie, and Moss's depiction of the effect of the shuttle's destruction on Annie hits hard. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 978-0-8027-2258-4
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