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Children's LiteratureAs part of the "Fact Finders" series, this biography is well written and the format is reader-friendly. Historical photographs that add interest and support to the text accompany every page. The author also includes boxes on each page that contain either quotations or facts. Many people influenced Ellen, but she is later quoted as saying, "My mother influenced me the most . . . Her primary focus was the enjoyment of learning. That's what I got from her example," and a good example it was. Ellen's mother started college when Ellen was a baby and graduated 22 years later. Once Ellen set her dreams on becoming an astronaut she never looked back. Readers will learn about her life working with NASA. Did you know that Ellen took her flute along with her on her first mission, or that she has traveled more than 16 million miles in space? Included at the end of the book are "Fast Facts," a time line, a glossary, Internet sites, "Read More," and an index. It amazes me how much information is given to the reader in just 32 pages. This book would be perfect in a classroom or school library. It also lends itself to the science and social studies classrooms. The author highlights all vocabulary words that can be found in the glossary. The book can be used as a resource for a research paper or for nonfiction reading. The quotations chosen for this book are great, but my favorite for children to read is, "Education is what allows you to stand out." What a great writing prompt this would be! Both boys and girls will find this biography interesting. I highly recommend it. 2006, Capstone Press, Ages 8 to 12.
—Kathie M. Josephs