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|I love you, Michael Collins|
Author: Baratz-Logsted, Lauren
In 1969, as her own family is falling apart, ten-year-old Mamie finds comfort in conducting a one-sided correspondence with the least famous astronaut heading toward the moon on Apollo 11.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 190172
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 74732
School Library Journal (00/05/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2017 Assigned to write a letter to an Apollo 11 astronaut weeks before the July 1969 flight, the boys in Mamie’s class choose Buzz Aldrin (“best name”), and all the girls but one pick Neil Armstrong (“dreamy”). Mamie, though, writes to Michael Collins. That summer, she and her best friend share an intense interest in the Apollo 11 mission. When her mother suddenly walks out on the family, and her father chases after her, 10-year-old Mamie is left under the spotty supervision of her sisters and finds herself increasingly alone. The story’s momentum builds gradually, culminating in the July space flight, moon walk, and splashdown, events that bring people together. Written as a series of letters to Collins, the novel draws parallels between Mamie’s experience at home and Collins’ role as the astronaut who stays in the orbiting Columbia while the others land on the Moon. The narrative offers accessible dialogue and inherent drama as well as a sense of how the historic Apollo 11 mission affected the folks back home on earth. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2017 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 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.