I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (J)

I Love You Michael Collins

I Love You, Michael Collins

Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Juvenile Fiction)

It’s 1969 and the day before the last day before summer vacation.  Ten-year old Mamie Anderson and her class have to write a letter to one of the astronauts of Apollo 11.  Mamie chooses Michael Collins because, quite simply, no one else did.  After all, where is the glory for the one who gets left behind?

Through a series of letters written to Michael Collins, Mamie shares details about her life, her family, and her best friend, Buster.  We even get to learn more about Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 Mission, and the dangers of space travel.  As the time for the moon landing draws closer and as Mamie’s world pulls apart, she’s left asking, “Doesn’t anyone stay with the ship anymore?”

This is an enchanting and absolutely delectable book to read.  Was it sentimental and nostalgic?  You bet!  I couldn’t get enough of Mamie’s references to Magnavox color TVs, Erector Sets, TV dinners served in compartmentalized metal trays, and doing research at the library by pulling periodicals.  And despite the racial riots and Vietnam War, for one rare moment in time, the world united in witnessing a truly extraordinary event.  Everyone came together not as multiple races, but as one race—the human race—to watch a man from the planet Earth set foot on the moon for the very first time.

I loved experiencing the awe and thrill of the lunar landing through the eyes of a 10-year old girl who decided to write to the astronaut who she considered to be “the best one”, not because he walked on the moon, but because he stayed with the ship so that he could bring everyone safely back home again.

Rating: 4/5