We Dream of Space

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
352 0
We Dream of Space
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 05, 2020
ISBN
978-0062747303
Buy This Book
      
Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly transports readers to 1986 and introduces them to the unforgettable Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas in this pitch-perfect middle grade novel about family, friendship, science, and exploration. A great choice for readers of Kate DiCamillo, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Rebecca Stead.

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 wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but feels like she’s disappearing.

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.

Told in three alternating points of view, We Dream of Space is an unforgettable and thematically rich novel for middle grade readers.

We Dream of Space is illustrated throughout by the author.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

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 Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Instant Karma
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
In New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer's young adult...
Put Yourself in My Shoes
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Cricket goes for a walk, he finds Ladybug searching...
Selma
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Selma is asked: What is happiness? ...
Benjamin's Blue Feet
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young bird with a flair for discovery and invention...
Pocket Piggies: I Love You!
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
What’s the best thing in the world? I...
Everything Under the Sun
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sun’s Reach is in dire peril. The last...
Lizzy Albright and the Attic Window
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lizzy Albright, a red-headed, freckle-faced girl from Overland Park, Kansas,...
Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...

Latest Member Reviews

Instant Karma
 
3.7
"INSTANT KARMA is an overall charming YA contemporary. Prudence is finishing tenth grade and completely fed up with her biology..."
Kingdom of the Wicked
 
4.3
"Thrills and chills abound in Kerri Maniscalco‘s new release Kingdom of the Wicked. I don’t know where to start! This..."
Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
"SEND ME THEIR SOULS is a gut-wrenching finale to a fantastic YA fantasy series. In this third book, we begin..."
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
"GOBLIN KING is a much faster-paced and action-packed YA fantasy sequel. Janneke has taken the mantle of the stag, though..."
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
"SWAMP THING: TWIN BRANCHES is a graphic novel about finding yourself, remembering history, and forging your own path forward. Alec..."
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
"BROKEN WISH is a beautifully composed fairytale. The book begins with the story of Mathilda and Agnes, neighbors who have..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
"Ashley Poston has crafted a new fairy tale for the ages! Among the Beasts and Briars may very well be..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
A Cloud of Outrageous Blue
 
4.3
"A CLOUD OF OUTRAGEOUS BLUE is a historical fiction read that takes the reader to 1348-1349. Edyth grew up with..."
Slingshot
 
4.7
"SLINGSHOT by Mercedes Helnwein is a firecracker of a debut. This YA contemporary is set inside a shoddy boarding school..."
Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)
 
5.0
"RAYBEARER is a lush and imaginative YA fantasy that had me captivated from the start. The book follows Tarisai, who..."
A Golden Fury
 
4.0
"When I started A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A historical fantasy? A..."
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
"BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL is a very dark YA fantasy that features a ruthless anti-heroine and a mysterious other world...."
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
"LIGHTBRINGER is a truly epic finale to the Empirium trilogy. Rielle and Eliana are mother and daughter, separated by thousands..."
Dating Makes Perfect
 
4.3
" The story: Just like her sisters before her, Winnie isn’t allowed to date in high school. With..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.3
"A GOLDEN FURY is a YA historical fantasy that entrenches the reader in the life of Thea. Thea is a..."