TAKING OFF by Jenny Moss


Age Range: 14 & up
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Living in Clear Lake, Texas, home of Johnson Space Center, in 1985, high-school senior Annie, the granddaughter of Winnie from Winnie’s War (2009), secretly writes poetry in a town filled with scientists. With her single mother encouraging her to go to college and her longtime boyfriend hoping she’ll settle down with him, everyone has a plan for Annie—except Annie. Then she meets Christa McAuliffe, training at J.S.C., and decides that she must watch this self-assured teachernaut achieve her dreams. After a sorrowful yet enlightening road trip, accompanied by her single dad and—unexpectedly—his young co-worker, to watch the Challenger launch, Annie discovers that she must see her own dreams take wings. Moss, a former NASA engineer who trained some of the Challenger crew, marks the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster with this tender tribute to McAuliffe and her continuing inspiring impact on the youth of America. While depicting the feel of the mid-'80s—jean jackets and shoulder pads galore—she also beautifully portrays the timeless teen quest for identity. (author’s note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. YA)


Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2193-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2010


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