Review Detail

Kids Fiction 542
historical fiction about family and pre-adolescent challenges
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
WE DREAM OF SPACE is a highly engaging middle grade historical fiction. The book follows three siblings, Cash, Fitch, and Bird. Fitch and Bird are twins, and Cash is their older brother. All three are in seventh grade, since Cash failed the year before and is repeating. The book follows the lead up to the launch of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986, as well as the immediate fallout.

The book is filled with 80s nostalgia that parents will recognize (such as time at arcades and Star Trek/Wars). Ultimately, it is a story of sibling love and shared experience, as things are not always going well at home, and the siblings make their marks in different ways on the family dynamic (for better or worse). These ages are really formative and awkward, which is demonstrated well in the book.

What I loved: I love Bird's dreams of becoming a Shuttle Commander and her observational nature. The diagrams she draws also adds a cool STEM twist in the book. The characters felt really genuine and sympathetic, and they were intriguing to follow. We see their challenges and mistakes, as well as their approach to trying to make them better. There is also some bullying of other children, and this is played out with an ultimate consequence and the feeling of wrongness by one of the siblings.

What left me wanting more: There are a lot of major issues that are presented but not resolved, such as their parents fighting, which frequently boils down to sexism and misogyny (that the mother should do all the cooking and housework, her education was wasted, her value is in homemaking, etc.). These are valid points that are often still at play today, and I wanted more of a demonstration for the kids (in the book and reading in the present) that these are not the rules. Parents could do this through discussion.

There is also a point about interracial relationships being maybe unwelcome from parents, and I would have appreciated a heart-to-heart about these. Bird thinks about asking her parents because she knows this is an important question, but ultimately decides not to. Bird recognizes the differences between her parents and how they have made their family-life vs. one of her new friend's, and this contrast sort of speaks to some of these issues.

Another is the point about the importance of appearance and prettiness, which frequently comes up for Bird. For instance, her mother says her brothers can eat sweets and junk food, but not her; other people say being pretty is not her thing, but smart is (as if they cannot coexist); etc. This is somewhat resolved through the imaginary conversations she has with Judith Resnick. These are points that would all be great to discuss with children outside of the book. This book could be good for raising the discussions, but I would have appreciated more overt discussions of these and resources shown to children who might be reading. They are appropriate to the time period (and even sometimes now too).

Final verdict: Overall, WE DREAM OF SPACE is an enthralling middle grade read about siblings and the pre-adolescent experience.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cuddle up with your little one and get ready to...
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A shocking thriller about a group of friends who go...
Bird Boy
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Take flight in this heartwarming story about a boy who...
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Acclaimed creator of The Word Collector, Happy Dreamer, Say Something,...
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Get ready to deck the halls with these joyful, singing,...
The Oddmire, Book 3: Deepest, Darkest
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The third adventure in the beloved fantasy series full of...
The Oddmire, Book 2: The Unready Queen
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Human-raised brothers Tinn and Cole join forces with Fable, daughter...
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it,...
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before meets Morgan Matson...
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an...
Traitors Among Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
World War II may be over. But two sisters are...
The Devil Makes Three
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden...
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Liar's Room
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This spooky stand-alone from MG horror expert Dan Poblocki is...

Latest Member Reviews

The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
"What I Loved: The Oddmire, Book 1 Changeling delivered a lot of heart and humor in this first installment...."
Cardboardia: The Other Side of the Box
 
4.0
"Pokey is a very enthusiastic six-year-old living with her grandparents, older brother Mac, and imaginary friend, Colombo. On her brithday,..."
Amari and the Night Brothers
 
5.0
"This was such a fun story. I’m really glad that it didn’t take long for Amari to get into the..."
Shadow Hills (Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly #2)
 
4.5
"In this second installment of Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly, Ruskin is on a royal errand to find lava rocks to..."
The Coldfire Curse (Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly #1)
 
4.5
"The Coldfire Curse by Jordan Quinn is the first book in her graphic novel series Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly which..."
Oddity
 
4.5
"What I loved: The world-building in Oddity is..."
The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans, #1)
 
5.0
"Riley and her sister Hattie work in their family's Korean alternative medicine practice in Los Angeles, but while Hattie is..."
The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LAST FALLEN STAR is a thrilling epic fantasy. Riley Oh is a saram, a person without magic, adopted by..."
Brightly Woven: The Graphic Novel
 
4.5
"BRIGHTLY WOVEN: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL is an engaging adaptation of a YA fantasy book into graphic novel format. Sydelle is..."
Amari and the Night Brothers
 
4.0
"Amari has struggled in the private school she attends on scholarship because the other students are mean to her, and..."
Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy (The Chronicles of Never After, #1)
 
5.0
"NEVER AFTER is a completely charming middle grade fantasy. We are introduced to Filomena Jefferson-Cho, a young girl who is..."
The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars
 
5.0
"THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS is an enchanting middle grade fantasy. Bo was left in the woods as..."
Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
 
5.0
"Albiorix and his crew are having a great time being back in Bríandalör, successfully completing a lot of quests, but..."
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
"THE EDGE OF THE WORD is another absolutely delightful interactive story, where you are the main character in the book...."
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
"THE RUBICUS PROPHECY is an engaging second book in the WITCHES OF ORKNEY series that follows the same friends on..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
The Twelve
 
4.0
"Usagi lives in a world where some children are born with extraordinary powers, either ones that are animal like qualities..."
 
4.0
"After his adventures in My Magical Life and The Magical Mix-Up , Zach has reawakened his magical abilities, but is..."
Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince (Emily Windsnap, #8)
 
4.0
"EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE PIRATE PRINCE is the eighth book in the Emily Windsnap series, but easily functions as a..."
Game of Stars  (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #2)
 
4.0
"Kiran has survived her ordeals in The Serpent's Secret, and is back in Parsippany, New Jersey. and is trying to..."