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Read this book: The Moon Over Star

October 11, 2010

Moon over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston

While at the library last week waiting for my oldest to get out of Book Club (they read Gregor the Overlander, he was over the moon about that!), I was standing at the picture books while youngest was chatting up a friend, making a date for Club Penguin (which seems to be his age group’s first line of connection). I was browsing through titles, remembering when mine were young and this was our main browsing section, and happened to pick up this book.

I’ll preface this by saying I’m a sucker for anything having to do with space. A bigger sucker for stories about the first Moon Landing. Even BIGGER sucker for books that encourage girls into space. So this book intrigued me immediately. Beautifully illustrated, a unique point of view, and I’m over the moon for it!

It’s about the lunar landing in 1969, and a family who gathers together in awe at what is happening, and especially about a girl who dreams big – that she can one day travel to the stars. Yet she has a Grandpa, wise in his days, who understands that sometimes things in the here and now are more important than our dreams. But she encourages him to dream bigger.

One of the Grandfather’s biggest arguments is how can we spend that money on a dream when we have so many folks here in such huge need. I’ve always struggled with that concept. I’ve always been a huge proponent of the space program and all it’s given us, and the dreams of going into space that I’ve had since I was a girl. And it wasn’t until I heard a song by Larry Norman called The Great American Novel and one of the lines said…”You say we beat the Russians to the moon and I say you starved our children to do it” that I gave a second thought to the idea of men in space. I think the Grandpa could relate.  And like Grandpa, I can now see a place for both..reaching out to help our friends in need, and reach out to push ourselves forward.

When the broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon flickered on the family TV, I relived what it might have been like. I was only 4 when it happened, and have no memory at all of the time. But I relive it in books like this. The awe and astonishment, the feeling that as mankind, we were greater than our individual selves, greater than our greed, greater than our pain, and that there was something more…something bigger than ourselves and we were part of it. And just like the little girl in the story, the moon is a symbol of a bigger dream for me…

 

Have you found a children’s book (or any book for that matter) that has affected you lately?

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