Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Godspeed, John Glenn

Godspeed, John Glenn

Richard Hilliard
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Boyds Mills Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-1590783849

When John Glenn was just a boy living in Ohio he and his father took a ride in an airplane and it was an experience he never forgot. He dreamed of flying planes and when he grew up that is just what he did. When America entered World War II he became a fighter pilot and he also flew in the Korean War, winning many medals for his courage and superior flying skills. Then when peace came in the 1950’s John became a test pilot. This kind of dangerous flying made him perfectly suited for his next job, to become an astronaut.

In 1959 John was one of seven men to be selected to become America’s first astronauts. John was then chosen for the third human mission which was to send an astronaut into orbit around the Earth. The mission began on February 20th, 1962. John was alone inside the small Mercury capsule which was called Friendship 7 and he was amazed when he first saw what the Earth looked like from space. Friendship 7 orbited the planet three times and then he was brought back to Earth.

John made a memorable journey back into space on the space shuttle Discovery in 1998.

Because of the way it is presented this picture book can be enjoyed on many levels. For the younger reader it can serve as an excellent introduction to the life and work of John Glenn. For the older reader who has already heard of John Glenn’s exploits in space but who is not familiar with the more intimate details of his work and the space program, it has much to offer. Every double page spread offers readers the main text and a side bar of text. The side bar is perfectly suited to the older more advanced reader, and the main text, with its accompanying illustration, is perfect for the reader who is not yet familiar with the story of John Glenn’s interesting life.