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Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero

Written by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello
Published by HarperCollins
5.25 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 3.9 / 5.0
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Retail Price
used $18.99
Feb 4, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“A masterful tribute of storytelling and illustration for a national hero.”

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.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

The inspiring, deeply patriotic true story of John Glenn, a true hero who not only changed America’s contribution to space exploration but also spent his life proudly serving his country in many ways.

This is a gorgeous picture book to introduce younger readers to John Glenn, from award-winning author Kathleen Krull and illustrator Maurizio A. C. Quarello.

John Glenn wasn’t just the first American to orbit Earth. He was a family man, a soldier, a United States senator, and a national hero. He laid the groundwork for future star voyagers—and dreamers—everywhere.

From the time he was a child, John Glenn loved flying. Later he did so by flying airplanes for the U.S. military, and then when space travel became a possibility, he trained for years to become an astronaut. John had to push his mind and body to the brink.

But he loved his country more than anything and wanted to serve—including flying into the great unknown.

What Kind of Book is Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero

Quotes from This Book

  • “But John never doubted his mission for a minute. More than ever, all he wanted to do was fly.”
  • “Remember, I’m just going down to the corner drugstore to get a pack of gum.”

Where Does This Book Stand Out


The “History” badge is awarded to recognize books that exceptionally share history.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • John realized from an early age that he loved to fly and wanted to become a pilot. What interests have you recognized in your young reader that you can support and encourage?

  • John recognized that his experience traveling to space was the result of work done by many, many people, and he always tried to remind people of that. How do you feel when others recognize and praise your hard work?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
4.75 / 7.0
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
6.0 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.0 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero

Book Topics › nonfiction
Children's Books About Nonfiction
Book Topics › America
Children's Books About America
Book Topics › biography
Children's Books About Biography
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Who Wrote Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero

Kathleen Krull

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

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Who Illustrated Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero

Maurizio A.C. Quarello

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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What Has Kathleen Krull Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Kathleen know that you want more details about Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero!

What Has Maurizio A.C. Quarello Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Maurizio know that you want more details about Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero!

What Do Critics Say About This Book

  • “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.”

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Book Details

Publication Date:
February 4, 2020
Illustration Details:
The artist used oil paints to create the illustrations for this book.

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