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Ron’s Big Mission



by
Rose Blue ,Corinne J. Naden
illustrated by
Don Tate

Edition
-
Publisher
Dutton
Imprint
Dutton
ISBN
9780525478492

Awards and Honors
NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2010, History/Life & Culture in the Americas
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$6.00   $5.00
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Ron is on one of his usual trips to find airplane books at the local library, but today is different. Today Ron will try to check out books for himself, and he knows it's not going to be easy. Sure enough, Ron encounters trouble at the checkout desk. "You know you can't check out books, Ron," says the clerk. "That's the rule. Only white people can check out books from the library." Based on an incident from astronaut Ron McNair's childhood. Author's note. Full-color illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

32

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 11"

Dewey

E

AR

2.9: points 0.5

Lexile

540L

Genre

Fictionalized history

Scholastic Reading Counts

1

JLG Release

May 2009

Book Genres


Topics

Missions. Career goals. Airplanes. Small towns. Libraries. Kindness. Racism. Taking a stand. Doing the right thing. Ron McNair (1950-1986).

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal

Junior Library Guild

Although the segregated South might seem distant to many young readers, this story makes history feel personal. The injustice Ron McNair confronted as a boy is made starker by the ordinary nature of the day’s preceding events. Ron dodges his mother’s offer of breakfast, greets a friend playing basketball, browses for library books—all experiences familiar to contemporary children. The fact that the story comes from the life of a real person—an astronaut, no less—only increases the impact.

As the book’s title emphasizes, Ron doesn’t just suffer segregation, he sets out to challenge it. Even when his own mother tells him to follow the library’s rules, Ron says, “I can’t, Momma. It’s wrong. The rules are not fair.” This depiction of civil disobedience makes Ron’s Big Mission a natural starting point for discussions of the civil rights movement. Moreover, the familiar setting will allow children to imagine what they might do in a similar situation. Though this book isn’t about space flight, the space connection will also provide a good hook for some readers.

Decades after this episode, Ron McNair was killed in the 1986 Challenger explosion. This volume is a fitting salute to a hero’s courage that began early in life.

Horn Book

Young Ron (astronaut Ronald McNair) doesn't have time for breakfast or basketball: "I've got something important to do." He's going to the library to check out aviation books. But in his segregated town, Ron is forbidden from having a library card. Contemporary-looking caricatures plus lack of context make it difficult to situate the fictionalized story in time, but the events described are inspiring.

Praise & Reviews

Junior Library Guild

Although the segregated South might seem distant to many young readers, this story makes history feel personal. The injustice Ron McNair confronted as a boy is made starker by the ordinary nature of the day’s preceding events. Ron dodges his mother’s offer of breakfast, greets a friend playing basketball, browses for library books—all experiences familiar to contemporary children. The fact that the story comes from the life of a real person—an astronaut, no less—only increases the impact.

As the book’s title emphasizes, Ron doesn’t just suffer segregation, he sets out to challenge it. Even when his own mother tells him to follow the library’s rules, Ron says, “I can’t, Momma. It’s wrong. The rules are not fair.” This depiction of civil disobedience makes Ron’s Big Mission a natural starting point for discussions of the civil rights movement. Moreover, the familiar setting will allow children to imagine what they might do in a similar situation. Though this book isn’t about space flight, the space connection will also provide a good hook for some readers.

Decades after this episode, Ron McNair was killed in the 1986 Challenger explosion. This volume is a fitting salute to a hero’s courage that began early in life.

Horn Book

Young Ron (astronaut Ronald McNair) doesn't have time for breakfast or basketball: "I've got something important to do." He's going to the library to check out aviation books. But in his segregated town, Ron is forbidden from having a library card. Contemporary-looking caricatures plus lack of context make it difficult to situate the fictionalized story in time, but the events described are inspiring.

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