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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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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.
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.
"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