Reimagining the days surrounding this unforgettable event in history, readers are brought back to 1986 as the astronauts prepare for the Challenger mission, and Christa McAullife trains to be the first teacher in space. When a teen named Annie meets Christa, she is fascinated by Christa's courage. Truly inspired, Annie is determined to make it to Florida to see the Challenger launch, a trip that will forever change how she thinks about herself and her secret desire for her own future. Although she is devastated when tragedy strikes, Annie honors Christa by following her own dream, despite the obstacles. Bringing in her experience as a NASA engineer, Jenny Moss weaves a moving story that recaptures the inspiration teens must have felt years ago as they watched Christa McAuliffe reach for the sky.
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Jenny Moss is a former NASA engineer who worked for NASA during the Challenger disaster, helping to train Judy Resnick and other crew members for that ill-fated mission. She is the author of Winnie's War and Shadow , and lives in Texas.
Grade 8–11—Annie is lost. It is 1985, her senior year, and she has no idea what will come after graduation: college, a job in her Texas town, marriage to her longtime boyfriend, maybe revealing to the world that she desperately wants to be a poet. All of these are possible, but Annie just cannot decide among them. A chance encounter with Christa McAuliffe (Annie's best friend's parents work for NASA) motivates Annie to take a road trip to see the Challenger launch. With her less-than-reliable dad and his handsome young friend, Annie sets out on an excursion that will end in tragedy and change. The novel paints a lovely portrait of a smart, strong, friendly McAuliffe. In fact, the author's background as a NASA engineer makes all of the scenes based at Johnson or Kennedy Space Center grounded and intriguing. Moss's descriptive language is almost poetic. When portraying Annie's life, however, the prose is less elegant. Annie has trouble articulating her confusion about her future, even to herself, and readers are told over and again that she is insecure and socially inept. This slows the book down, and, instead of authentic voices, it's the author's that comes through. Back matter includes a chronology of Christa McAuliffe's life and a bibliography concerning the Challenger.—Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT
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Book Description Walker & Co, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New Walker HB 2011. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000150115
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