December 10, 2018

Meet Chris Hadfield (Scholastic Canada Biography)

Written by Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrated by Mike Deas
Scholastic Canada
32 pp.
Ages 6-10
August 2018

Just last night, CBC televised the 2018 Canada Walk of Fame gala at which Chris Hadfield was among the guests of honour being celebrated. Though most Canadians, young and old alike, will know Chris Hadfield as the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space, Meet Chris Hadfield will enlighten young readers about how he was able to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut.
From Meet Chris Hadfield by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas
From his television viewing of the first moon walk in July 1969, Chris wondered about the possibilities of going into space. His hard work on the family farm and in school, as well as joining the Air Cadets, helped steer a young Chris to a life in the Canadian Armed Forces, having earned a degree in mechanical engineering before training as a fighter pilot. In 1992, he was chosen as one of Canada's newest astronauts, extensively training for three years, including learning Russian, before travelling to space in 1995 as a mission specialist whose work included operating the Canadarm. 

For his second mission in 2001, Chris was tasked with helping to add new sections to the International Space Station (ISS) which would require him to leave the ISS and walk in space. Even through a terrifying mishap which temporarily blinded him, Chris and his fellow astronauts successfully completed their missions. 
From Meet Chris Hadfield by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas
Back on Earth, Chris worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space centre in Houston, training other astronauts and working as the voice of Mission Control, and then as NASA's Director of Operations in Russia. It wasn't until 2012 that he returned to space, this time as the commander of the ISS for 146 days. Readers will learn details about the ISS as well as how the astronauts ate and stayed clean and in shape. But Elizabeth MacLeod makes sure to discuss Chris Hadfield's efforts to get people excited about space. His social media postings, engaging with schools, singing, and helping to create a music video with David Bowie are all mentioned.
From Meet Chris Hadfield by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas
Upon his return to earth, Chris Hadfield has continued his mission to get everyone excited about space.  Through his speaking engagements, publication of his children's book (The Darkest Dark, 2016), or promotion of space education (check out his website), Chris Hadfield pursues objectives of education and appreciation of our world and those beyond.

Elizabeth MacLeod and Mike Deas could have just told the dry facts of Chris Hadfield's background but, by making it  an illustrated story, Meet Chris Hadfield delves a little deeper and gives children the anecdotes that will be most relevant to them. It's about dreaming and working hard and having fun while engaging with others about your passion. Timeline details of his life are appended, alongside a few photos, but it's with Elizabeth MacLeod's text and Mike Deas's revealing but lively artwork that Meet Chris Hadfield will continue to stimulate interest in space as well as in being good citizens on Earth in ways that Chris Hadfield might never have dreamed.
 A French-language edition, Voici Chris Hadfield (978-1-4431-6390-3), is also available. 

No comments:

Post a Comment