We Dream of Space

We Dream of Space

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties. Cash, who loves basketball but has a newly broken wrist, is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade on Main. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA's first female shuttle commander. The Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household, with little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, Ms. Salonga gives her students a project; they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fated day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : Greenwillow Books, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780062747303
Branch Call Number: J FIC KELLY
Characteristics: 400 pages ; 21 cm


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Sep 20, 2020

Revolves around the 1986 NASA Challenger event. Told in alternating short chapters from distinct voices of each of three children from dysfunctional family. Author does great job in developing each child's character and every reader will likely connect with at least one of the children (angry, lost, disconnected). Wonderful story about coping with dysfunction and power of family (at least of siblings). Teacher character also notable. Highly recommended.

AlishaH_KCMO Jun 09, 2020

We Dream of Space is about three siblings, Cash, and twins Fitch and Bird Nelson Thomas and the few weeks leading up to the Challenger launch in 1986. Cash is the older brother who got held back a year and is now in 7th grade with his younger siblings. He struggles with finding what he's good at and finding the drive to get there. Fitch loves spending time at the arcade but is struggling with explosive anger issues he doesn't understand. Meanwhile Bird is worried she's disappearing and wonders what it means to be a girl who likes science and taking apart things in a world where girls should be skinny and pretty.

I absolutely loved the siblings in this book. All three had their own struggles.

Middle school is a hard time in life because you're just starting out really trying to figure out who you are in the world and what is it you want. No one expects you to know what you're doing, but you think you need to. Cash really struggled with that in this book and my heart broke for him. I know what it was like doing something my whole life up to that point and then realizing that's just not it.

Fitch grappled with anger issues, but unfortunately he didn't really have anyone to talk with about it and he struggled with the balance. It didn't help the Nelson Thomas parents were incredibly dysfunctional, so much so that I wished they'd get a divorce to save the pain of the children.

Oh Bird. I wanted to wrap Bird up with tons of blankets and give her all the machines to take apart and reassemble to her heart's desire. Bird was so smart and creative and she had a hard time seeing her inner beauty around her classmates and even her family. She wanted to be the first female shuttle commander at NASA but also wanted to be accepted by those around her.

The writing in this novel was beautifully done in third person and captured all three siblings amazingly. It even shows the multiple dynamics of families and the impact it can have on children growing up. Erin Entrada Kelly is a wonderful story teller and this book shows it.

RyanR_KCMO May 27, 2020

The framing of a YA story in the month leading up to the Challenger disaster was going to kick me in the heart on concept alone. What I was not prepared for was Kelly’s masterful, personal narrative of these junior-high siblings. The threads are woven so well between them, highlighting the differences and struggles until the author pulls them tight and they all come together. An excellent book, crafted by a pro.


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