Gr 3-5-At once a compelling true story of spirit and survival and a loving tribute to a national hero, this book recounts the travels of a small Torah that passed from the hands of a dedicated rabbi to a young Holocaust survivor, and finally to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who carried it into space on the doomed space shuttle Columbia. The book's deceptively juvenile title, picture-book format, and heartwarming "reach for the stars" refrain suggest a young audience, as do the fictionalized dialogue, richly hued illustrations and photographs, and starry sky border. A positive spirit pervades even the bleakest moments, as when the rabbi's wife tells their children that the yellow star they must wear on their clothes is a sign that God is near. Yet this is a book better suited to older children able to grasp a story that moves through some very difficult terrain, including the targeting of Jews by the Nazis, the separation of a close-knit family, life and death in a concentration camp, and the tragic demise of Columbia's crew. With an introduction by Joachim Joseph highlighting the life of Ramon, this is a tale worth telling, and, as with Karen Levine's Hana's Suitcase (Second Story, 2002), reveals the power of a single object to transform many lives.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.