This nonfiction picture book is a children's version of NASA astronaut Jerry L. Ross's autobiography, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, designed for ages 7-12. Told in friendly first-person narration, it represents how Ross followed his dream from rural 1950s northern Indiana to Purdue University and then outer space. The thirty-two-page book is illustrated with personal photos and memorabilia. It is formatted into twenty-three narratives organized in chronological order illustrating events and experiences in Ross's life. Pages attractively interweave photos and text while prompts encourage readers to engage in in the story. Ross possessed specific character traits that helped him make choices and overcome obstacles as he struggled against the odds to realize his dream: curiosity, persistence, and believing in oneself. As the story unfolds and readers begin to make personal connections with Ross, his approach to problem solving and working through setbacks provides a powerful example for children. Content area concepts are integrated throughout the story, including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, math, visual literacy, financial literacy, geography, flight, and the race to space.
Jerry L. Ross; Susan G. Gunderson