From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-- An inspirational biography of the second African-American astronaut, a victim of the Challenger disaster. Born in a small South Carolina town in 1950, McNair did not attend an unsegregated school until he went to college; nonetheless, he excelled academically, athletically, and even musically (on his first shuttle mission, he brought and played a small saxophone). Naden emphasizes the many educational and racial obstacles McNair overcame in graduating from college, earning a doctorate at MIT and beating thousands of competitors to be chosen for the space program. Although a teacher and lecturer, he was evidently reticent about himself; Naden seldom quotes him, relying instead on the comments of friends and co-workers to build a picture of his character. She fleshes out her narrative with a brief history of space travel; information about astronaut training; and a full, heartbreaking account of the Challenger' s last minutes. Illustrated with well-chosen black-and-white photos. --John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.