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Space Travelers

Space Travelers

by Margaret Wild, Gregory Rogers (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This unusual picture book, a portrait of an urban homeless community, features a loving mother and son whose only misfortune is to be socially displaced. Mandy and Zac sleep at night in a rocket-shaped sculpture in the city park; the boy's fertile imagination has the pair hurtling through outer space. Their (rather bleak) reality, however, consists of bathing in train station restrooms and procuring food from other homeless people who have been helped by merchants' donations. When their luck turns and Zac and Mandy are able to share a house with friends (``Just think! A room of our own!''), they bequeath their ``rocket'' to an effervescent homeless woman named Dorothy--`` `Mine!' And the sun is in her smile, and a million billion stars in her eyes.'' Both author and illustrator have taken care to present their collaboration as gentle and poignant while retaining the realism of the situation. In Rogers's warm, grainy illustrations the characters are affectionately portrayed as more eccentric than poor. A commendable book that adroitly addresses a very real contemporary problem. Ages 6-9. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Mandy and her son, Zac, have been sleeping in a playground climber, shaped like a spaceship, for a few weeks. Snuggled inside sleeping bags, by the glow of a flashlight, they eat a cold supper and fantasize about traveling to planets and stars. Then Mandy has exciting news. Friends have offered them a room in an old house. Zac envisions beds, baths, and maybe TVs, while his mother thinks of jobs and school. Granted, there are many ways in which the homeless cope with their situations, but this story reads more like a camping trip than a struggle to survive. There are no police patrolling the city parks and everything is neat and clean. There's no sickness; no mention of shelters, meal sites, or related agencies; and all of the people are friendly and helpful. The pastel paintings, pretty and brightly colored, only reinforce this romantic vision of homeless life. Eve Bunting's Fly Away Home (Clarion) or Dyanne Di Salvo-Ryan's Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen (Morrow, both 1991) are more truthful and realistic. --Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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