From the time he was young, Glen knows he wants to be a pilot. Aircrafts and manned flight are a new phenomenon, and Glen talks about the subject each night at the dinner table. Thoughtfully, his dad takes him to experience the novelty of flight through a short plane ride, confirming his dream of piloting his own plane. He enrolls in a new piloting course at his college, but his studies are interrupted by the start of World War II. Dedicated to flying and very patriotic, he serves during the war as a fighter pilot. After the war is over, he continues to serve in the military as a test pilot, manning the U.S. military’s first cross country supersonic flight. This, of course, all precedes his most famous accomplishment of becoming the first American to orbit Earth—and his subsequent service as a U.S. Senator. Krull skillfully captures Glenn’s full and accomplished life in a narrative that reads easily but is full of information, providing fascinating detail about the commitment and sacrifice required by Glenn and his family to complete his space journey, while also including insightful details about his childhood interests and the experiences that led him to his historic orbit. Glenn’s tradition of telling his wife Annie before leaving on a dangerous mission that he was just “going down to the corner drugstore to buy some gum,” to which Annie would reply, “Well, don’t take too long,” is a particularly tender inclusion. Quarello’s idealistic oil painting illustrations are rich and detailed—the depictions of Glenn’s orbit are particularly awe-inspiring.
The “History” badge is awarded to recognize books that exceptionally share history.
"This lively and informative selection presents a thorough overview of Glenn’s life . . . and flight at age 77 as the oldest man to fly in space."
Kathleen Krull is the award-winning author of many books for children and young adults. She lives in San Diego, CA. Visit Kathleen online at www.kathleenkrull.com.
Maurizio A. C. Quarello is an award-winning illustrator who has published more than fifty children’s books. He is an illustration teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata, Italy, where he lives.
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