What makes a hero?
This lively and informative selection presents a thorough overview of Glenn’s life: his childhood; attempts to learn to fly; support from his wife, Annie, who herself dealt with stuttering and became a speech pathologist; the thousands of flying hours he clocked; military service during World War II; life as an astronaut; subsequent political career; and flight at age 77 as the oldest man to fly in space. With all this, Krull focuses on his accomplishments as an astronaut, in particular on his Project Mercury mission on the Friendship 7, when he became the first American to orbit the Earth during the United States' space race with the former Soviet Union. The energetic text thoroughly describes Glenn’s experiences while flying while realistic, sweeping oils offer a sense of space and capture some of the bliss Glenn must have experienced. Tales of his less-than-successful endeavors (his failed presidential bid, for example) are not mentioned, which seems a lost opportunity to discuss how setbacks are an inevitable part of success. Regardless, this vivid portrayal is full of exhilaration and suspense and will doubtlessly create new fans and inspire or increase a love of space exploration.
Captures the excitement of space travel while creating a warm portrait of an innovative explorer. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)