Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs return in The Space Mission Adventure. The Black Dinosaurs are the members of a club in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ziggy, Rico, Jerome and Rashawn are best friends and the club members.
In The Space Mission Adventure, the boys accomplish a dream of many children. They spend a weekend at the Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. There, with children from other parts of the country, they train like astronauts. A flight simulation ends the weekend.
Ziggy finds what looks like a misshapen glass or is it a space artifact? He determinately believes it is from outer space while the other children tell him differently. The mystery of the found object is the weak point of the book. No reader will believe he found a space artifact.
The students meet a real astronaut. She is an African-American female. Ziggy and his classmates learn about other African, Mexican and female astronauts in the NASA program.
Sharon M Draper allows children to attend Space Camp. There with the Black Dinosaurs they learn many facts about the training program. Ms. Draper asks and answers many questions that intrigue children. How do astronauts go to the bathroom? How do they sleep? What happens when they sneeze? The children ask loads of funny, but interesting questions the average young person would ask.
The Space Mission Adventure is the perfect book for the young person who wants a career with NASA. In the book, Ms. Draper shares information learned on her own trip to the Space Camp. She does not portray the counselors and instructors as forcing facts on the Black Dinosaurs. They learn many facts from other children. As always, children learn best when they share things with friends.
A study guide is at the end of The Space Mission Adventure. A list of ten discussion topics for each chapter is available. Ms. Draper supplies web sites and books for further study. The book is good for African, Mexican and female children who want a space career. They and other children can learn about people from these three groups who are astronauts. Remember anything is possible with hard work.
I always imagined Paradise to be a....library. - Jorgelius Borges
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Note: Ziggy review copy was received free from Simon & Schuster.