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I Love You, Michael Collins
Cover of I Love You, Michael Collins
I Love You, Michael Collins
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Amazon Editors' Pick Best Books of June 2017Semifinalist: GoodReads Choice Awards 2017 Best Middle Grade and Children's BookNational Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council Notable Social...
Amazon Editors' Pick Best Books of June 2017Semifinalist: GoodReads Choice Awards 2017 Best Middle Grade and Children's BookNational Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council Notable Social...
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Description-

  • Amazon Editors' Pick Best Books of June 2017
    Semifinalist: GoodReads Choice Awards 2017 Best Middle Grade and Children's Book
    National Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2018
    The Planetary Society Recommended Space Books for Kids of All Ages 2017
    The National Science and Engineering Council of Canada list of books for Science Literacy Week 2018
    2018-2019 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Intermediate Grade list
    2018-19 Maine Student Book Award Reading List
    2018-2019 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award List, Grades 3-5

    It's 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie's class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong ("So cute!") and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin ("So cool!"). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else's dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what's going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her—until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can't help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? With I LOVE YOU, MICHAEL COLLINS, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has created a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself.

    A Margaret Ferguson Book

About the Author-

  • LAUREN BARATZ-LOGSTED is the author of more than a dozen books for adults and young readers, including The Twin's Daughter, Crazy Beautiful, and the Sisters 8 series, which she cowrites with her husband and daughter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 19, 2017
    In this epistolary novel set during the charged weeks preceding the Apollo 11 launch, a class assignment prompts 10-year-old Mamie Anderson to write letters to astronaut Michael Collins, while her classmates favor Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, who will actually set foot on the moon. Though some of the letters can be forced (“Do you know what an Erector set is, Michael Collins?”), they are an effective way for Mamie to confide in the astronaut about the escalating tensions between her parents; the absence of her oldest sister, Eleanor (who recently moved out); and 16-year-old sister Bess’s fixation on her boyfriend. Against the highly gendered backdrop of 1969 (all the girls want to marry astronauts, while the boys want to become them), Mamie’s friendship with her neighbor Buster is particularly moving. Mamie and Buster share a fixation on the space race, and Buster remains loyal and constant even as Mamie’s parents’ conflict erupts. Mamie’s isolation at home echoes Collins’s solitude in orbit a bit too neatly, but her bravery and loyalty are memorable. Ages 8–12.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2017
    It's 1969, and 10-year-old Mamie Anderson is writing letters to Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins. When Mamie's teacher asks the class to write letters to the astronauts, Mamie is the only one to choose Michael Collins, the one who will stay onboard while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren walk on the moon. Mamie understands the importance of Collins' staying with the ship: if he didn't, -How would they...come home again?- Then Mamie's mother leaves home and her father goes after her. Her elder sister already lives away from home, and 16-year-old sister Bess is always out with her boyfriend. Even her cat runs off. Only loyal friend and neighbor Buster Whitaker keeps Mamie from feeling completely untethered. The story neatly parallels the astronauts' journey, and Mamie's letters to Collins effectively capture her earnest voice, though they are occasionally unconvincing and didactic when teaching history or relating lessons learned. Baratz-Logsted weaves in just enough history to root Mamie's story in her time, a moment when a nation came together and felt proud of human possibilities, but she doesn't allow Vietnam or the civil rights struggle to complicate her determinedly upbeat story. Indeed, Mamie and the rest of the principal cast appear to be all white. Readers will be charmed by Mamie's story of hope in a difficult moment in American history. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2017

    Gr 4-7-In the summer of 1969, NASA prepares to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon while 10-year-old Mamie writes letters to Michael Collins, Apollo 11's pilot. When Mamie's mother, an unsatisfied housewife, leaves home, Mamie's father follows, and the girl's support network disintegrates until she is home alone. Mamie hides this fact as she and her best friend Buster research Apollo 11, preparing their own neighborhood celebrations. Space launch drama mirrors Mamie's personal upheaval, her feelings swinging wildly between despair and joy. As Mamie's family members gingerly reconnect, she ties the space launch to her own experiences. Baratz-Logsted pens a quiet gem bubbling with unexpected turmoil. The epistolary format gives Mamie a vehicle to cope with crisis; the letters reveal her to be resourceful and contemplative without sounding stilted or unsympathetic. She writes short, direct sentences that feel childlike yet profound. Throughout the novel, Baratz-Logsted addresses gender roles with a light hand. In Mamie's class, "all the boys [say] they [want] to be astronauts." Then one girl says, "I want to marry an astronaut." The other girls follow suit, but not Mamie. Mamie's mother and older sister Eleanor also explore nontraditional female roles in 1960s society. Mamie's family members-even when fighting-don't waste words on emotion. This phlegmatic attitude steers the work away from Greek tragedy and makes the rare moments of love resonate more strongly. VERDICT Mamie's story cleverly shifts focus from macro to micro events in ways that children and educators will enjoy. Recommended for all libraries serving middle grade readers.-Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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