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Floating Home

Overview

When eight-year-old Maxine becomes the world's youngest astronaut, she has no idea how much preparation it will take. For an astronaut, even getting dressed is no simple task. There's thermal underwear to keep her body warm and a cooling suit in case she gets too hot. On top of that, there's a big orange pressure suit - and underneath it all, a diaper!

But when countdown is over and the shuttle lifts off, Maxine thinks she's the luckiest person in that place she sees from space,...

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Overview

When eight-year-old Maxine becomes the world's youngest astronaut, she has no idea how much preparation it will take. For an astronaut, even getting dressed is no simple task. There's thermal underwear to keep her body warm and a cooling suit in case she gets too hot. On top of that, there's a big orange pressure suit - and underneath it all, a diaper!

But when countdown is over and the shuttle lifts off, Maxine thinks she's the luckiest person in that place she sees from space, that planet we call Earth, that whole wide, round world, our floating home.

To look at her home in a new way for an art project, eight-year-old Maxine rides on a space shuttle, where she experiences the many thrills of takeoff and has the opportunity to indeed view her home, Earth, in an entirely new way.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Maxine becomes the youngest astronaut when she decides to take a different approach to her homework assignment. Asked to look at her home in a new way, Maxine heads for the Kennedy Space Center to get a view from space. Even though Maxine's trip is fanciful, her preparations, the actual launch, and the trip in space are all based on accounts from real astronauts. The closing text brings home the message of the oneness of the earth and all who reside there. An imaginative, informative, and entertaining tale that should appeal to young readers.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4Maxine, eight, goes the extra mile(s) for a school assignment: to look at her home in a different way and to draw what she sees. Taking the broad view of the task, she somehow "walks" to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral and manages to get herself on a space-shuttle mission. Despite this awkward transition from Maxine's walk through her familiar neighborhood to her eventual ride into outer space, this book provides details about the suiting-up process and other pre-flight routines that will interest children. The launch is explained in age-appropriate language: "The main engines started. Everything began to tremble. It was...like being in a subway train." The cartoons, rendered on cel vinyl in acrylics, are clear, detailed, and colorful. They carry the book's beginning where clarity in the text is poor, then support the story as Maxine becomes a space artist and draws her home as the Earth appears through the shuttle's window. Although this story lacks logic, the careful details about space travel will interest young readers.Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
In a unique slant on a typical homework assignment, Getz (Frozen Man, 1994, etc.) and newcomer Rex send a girl to incredible heights for her art project—outer space.

When Maxine is instructed to look at her home in a new way, she leaves school and keeps on walking. Inside the Kennedy Space Center, she suits up; her outfit includes a diaper, two kinds of underwear (one to keep her warm, the other to cool her down), and a large orange pressure suit, all of which are wittily captured in Rex's acrylic illustrations. Feeling like a 100-pound duck in a diaper, Maxine takes a fantastic journey into space, where fun facts about weightlessness and rockets are interwoven into her personal account of take-off (the noise is like "a thousand thousand lions roaring! Like the heart of an immense raging fire. Roar!"), flying upside down at dizzying speeds, witnessing hurricanes, shooting stars, and the earth from space, where "somebody had forgotten to draw the lines." What begins as a contrivance catapults readers into an animated, aeronautical adventure and an entertaining look at the science of space travel; it ends as a visionary paradigm for a peaceful planet.

From the Publisher
"When asked by her teacher to look at her home in a new way and draw what she sees, Maxine takes her drawing paper and colored pencils to space and becomes the world's youngest astronaut....A creative and highly entertaining adventure."—Booklist

"Packs in a lot of information, but also evokes the very human connection that space stories can arouse."—New York Times Book Review

"An entertaining look at the science of space travel...ends as a visionary paradigm for a peaceful planet."—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805065800
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Meet the Author

David Getz is a science staff developer in the New York City public schools. He wrote this book after interviewing many astronauts and NASA officials. He is also the author of Frozen Man, Life on Mars, and two novels, Thin Air and Almost Famous. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, his daughter, and her imaginary friends.

Michael Rex says that "being an astronaut is the only profession I'd give up drawing for." Mr. Rex lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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