Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
When Mamie Anderson started out writing to the astronaut Michael Collins, it was just a school assignment. However, she decides to keep writing him throughout the summer as she follows his trip to the moon. Mamie and her best friend, Buster, spend the summer learning about the Apollo mission and playing astronauts, until the big moment where they get to watch it on Mamie’s family’s new color TV. As they near the lunar launch, Mamie’s family starts to fall apart when her mom leaves, followed by her dad, then her two sisters. Mamie feels abandoned, but is determined to stick it out by herself, even hosting the moonwalk party that her mother had planned. In the end, Mamie writes to Michael Collins that she stayed with the ship, just like he did, and thankfully, both the astronauts and Mamie’s family were able to make it back home.
This book is perfect for intermediate readers! This captivating historical fiction visits the time of Apollo 11 to help the reader watch the launch through America’s eyes. Written in the form of letters from the main character to one of the three astronauts who was sent to the moon, this book lets the reader grow to really know Mamie and love her. The story is well developed and the characters are relatable, especially for those who feel like they never really fit in or who are experiencing family troubles. Set in the late 1960’s, this book can also be reminiscent for older readers. Baratz-Logsted conveys the excitement she felt as a seven-year-old girl following the Apollo mission and allows the reader to join in the fun and the history of it all. An adorable book with a great story that will help children learn more about the moon launch.