Arte Público Press to Host Astronaut and Screen Film at UH

HOUSTON, TX—Astronaut and children’s book author José M. Hernández will speak at a screening of the new Amazon film about his life, A Million Miles Away, which will be shown at the University of Houston in the Student Center South Theater (4455 University Dr., Houston, TX 77204) on Friday, October 27, from 5-8:15 pm.

Inspired by the real-life story of NASA flight engineer José M. Hernández, A Million Miles Away follows him and his devoted family of proud migrant farm workers on a decades-long journey, from a rural village in Michoacán, Mexico, to the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, to more than 200 miles above the Earth in the International Space Station. With the unwavering support of his hard-working parents, relatives and teachers, José’s unrelenting drive and determination culminates in the opportunity to achieve his seemingly impossible goal. Acclaimed writer and director Alejandra Márquez Abella has created a dazzling tribute to the loyalty and tenacity of the entire Hernández family, as well as anyone who dares to dream.  Starring Michael Pena and Rosa Salazar and produced by Amazon Studios, the film launched for streaming on Prime Video September 15, 2023.

This screening is sponsored by Arte Público Press, the Department of Hispanic Studies and the LULAC Council, all at the University of Houston. Admission is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in the Welcome Center Garage, across University Drive from the Student Center.

JOSÉ M. HERNÁNDEZ is the author of The Boy Who Touched the Stars / El niño que alcanzó las estrellas (Piñata Books, 2019) and From Farmworker to Astronaut / De campesino a astronauta (Piñata Books, 2019). The founder of Reaching for the Stars Foundation dedicated to increasing the number of students studying STEM fields, he lives in Stockton, California, where he is president and CEO of an engineering firm.

Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint serve as a bridge from home to school to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage program provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Latino literary arts and creativity.  For more information, please visit

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