Published by First Second
Summary: A group of kids going to school on board a 24th century spacecraft has an assignment to research the Challenger disaster. Each presents one aspect of the event, including the history of the space shuttle, the crew, the launch, and the investigation of what went wrong. The kids are all certain that Carmen, the slacker among them, hasn’t done her research, and when it comes time for her to present, it turns out they’re right. But she’s been so moved by what she’s learned that she makes an emotional case for continuing to explore the universe, even though tragedies sometimes happen as part of those explorations. The day ends with A plus grades for everyone, and the teacher musing to herself that she believes the future is in good hands. Includes an author’s afterword and a list of additional Challenger facts. 128 pages; grades 4-6.
Pros: A moving look at many different aspects of the Challenger explosion that includes holographic images of each crew member giving an introduction to his or her life and career. This is part of a new series called History Comics that will undoubtedly have wide appeal, particularly for fans of books like Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales.
Cons: The detailed descriptions of the space shuttle in the first third of the book may lose a few readers.