The Boy Who Touched the Stars / El niño que alcanzó las estrellas
This autobiographical, bilingual picture book recounts the author’s rise from migrant farm worker to astronaut!
by José M. Hernández
Illustrations by Steven James Petruccio
Published: May 31, 2019
Imprint: Piñata Books
Every night when he was a boy, José M. Hernández would look out the window and stare at the stars. They were different colors: blue, yellow and white. Some were larger and brighter than others, and some twinkled as if they were alive. Later, when he saw man land on the moon on TV, he knew he wanted to be an astronaut.
But José struggled in school because his family moved constantly and he didn’t speak English. His parents were migrant workers from Mexico; they followed the crops up and down the state of California. José was in second grade when his teacher convinced his parents to stop migrating and stay in the United States. She also encouraged his love of astronomy, books and learning.
José became an electrical engineer, got married and had a family, and though he was very happy, he never stopped thinking about his dream. So he applied to NASA to become an astronaut. His application was rejected eleven times, but he kept applying. He was finally selected for astronaut school and achieved his dream when he flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station!
With beautiful illustrations by Steven Petruccio, this heartwarming, bilingual picture book will introduce children ages 5 – 9 to the concept of space travel. The author’s story is sure to motivate kids to set goals and reach for their own dreams.