Cover image for I love you, Michael Collins
Title:
I love you, Michael Collins
Title:
I love you, Michael Collins
Publisher Info:
New York, NY : Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC, [2017]
Physical Description:
230 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"Margaret Ferguson Books"--Title page.

Pagination may vary.
Abstract:
"It's 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie's class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong ("So cute!") and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin ("So cool!"). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else's dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what's going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her--until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can't help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore?"-- Amazon.

Available:*

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J BARA (BOB) Book Juvenile Fiction
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J BARATZ-LOGSTED, L. Book Juvenile Fiction
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On Order

Summary

Summary

It's 1969 and the country is gearing up for men walking on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie's class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts, and she is the only one who writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who doesn't get to walk on the moon because he has to stay with the ship. After school ends for the year, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what's going on with her family. One by one, they each leave her thinking that someone else is taking care of her--until she is all alone except for her best friend, Buster, who lives next door. As the launch nears, everyone in the country is on the edge of their seats: Will the mission be successful? For Mamie, there's even greater turmoil, and she can't help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore?


Author Notes

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of more than 25 books for adults, teens, and children, including the popular nine-book series The Sisters 8, which she created with her husband and daughter. Before becoming a writer, Lauren was an independent bookseller, Publishers Weekly reviewer, freelance editor, sort-of librarian, and window washer. She lives in Danbury, Connecticut, with her family and their cat, Yoyo. She still remembers watching the astronauts land on the moon. laurenbaratzlogsted.com


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this epistolary novel set during the charged weeks preceding the Apollo 11 launch, a class assignment prompts 10-year-old Mamie Anderson to write letters to astronaut Michael Collins, while her classmates favor Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, who will actually set foot on the moon. Though some of the letters can be forced ("Do you know what an Erector set is, Michael Collins?"), they are an effective way for Mamie to confide in the astronaut about the escalating tensions between her parents; the absence of her oldest sister, Eleanor (who recently moved out); and 16-year-old sister Bess's fixation on her boyfriend. Against the highly gendered backdrop of 1969 (all the girls want to marry astronauts, while the boys want to become them), Mamie's friendship with her neighbor Buster is particularly moving. Mamie and Buster share a fixation on the space race, and Buster remains loyal and constant even as Mamie's parents' conflict erupts. Mamie's isolation at home echoes Collins's solitude in orbit a bit too neatly, but her bravery and loyalty are memorable. Ages 8-12. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Assigned to write a letter to an Apollo 11 astronaut weeks before the July 1969 flight, the boys in Mamie's class choose Buzz Aldrin (best name), and all the girls but one pick Neil Armstrong (dreamy). Mamie, though, writes to Michael Collins. That summer, she and her best friend share an intense interest in the Apollo 11 mission. When her mother suddenly walks out on the family, and her father chases after her, 10-year-old Mamie is left under the spotty supervision of her sisters and finds herself increasingly alone. The story's momentum builds gradually, culminating in the July space flight, moon walk, and splashdown, events that bring people together. Written as a series of letters to Collins, the novel draws parallels between Mamie's experience at home and Collins' role as the astronaut who stays in the orbiting Columbia while the others land on the Moon. The narrative offers accessible dialogue and inherent drama as well as a sense of how the historic Apollo 11 mission affected the folks back home on earth.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2017 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-In the summer of 1969, NASA prepares to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon while 10-year-old Mamie writes letters to Michael Collins, Apollo 11's pilot. When Mamie's mother, an unsatisfied housewife, leaves home, Mamie's father follows, and the girl's support network disintegrates until she is home alone. Mamie hides this fact as she and her best friend Buster research Apollo 11, preparing their own neighborhood celebrations. Space launch drama mirrors Mamie's personal upheaval, her feelings swinging wildly between despair and joy. As Mamie's family members gingerly reconnect, she ties the space launch to her own experiences. Baratz-Logsted pens a quiet gem bubbling with unexpected turmoil. The epistolary format gives Mamie a vehicle to cope with crisis; the letters reveal her to be resourceful and contemplative without sounding stilted or unsympathetic. She writes short, direct sentences that feel childlike yet profound. Throughout the novel, Baratz-Logsted addresses gender roles with a light hand. In Mamie's class, "all the boys [say] they [want] to be astronauts." Then one girl says, "I want to marry an astronaut." The other girls follow suit, but not Mamie. Mamie's mother and older sister Eleanor also explore nontraditional female roles in 1960s society. Mamie's family members-even when fighting-don't waste words on emotion. This phlegmatic attitude steers the work away from Greek tragedy and makes the rare moments of love resonate more strongly. VERDICT Mamie's story cleverly shifts focus from macro to micro events in ways that children and educators will enjoy. Recommended for all libraries serving middle grade readers.-Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.