This is the true story of Jose Hernadez and his journey from migrant farm-help to astronaut. Jose is the 4th child of a very loving Mexican couple who taught him (and his siblings) that education is the ticket to fulfilling your dreams. His parents had him work on the farms when he wasn't in school so he could 'see his future'. If he didn't want to be a farm worker his whole life, it was schooling that would help him out of that life.
The writing needs some more editing especially during the first part of the book. He would jump from topic to topic in the same paragraph. But if i were in gr. 5 or 6, I probably wouldn't notice that! Fortunately it is not so choppy that the real message gets lost.
This is an optimisitic book that says: if I can do it, so can you. He does keep reiterating that it's hard work, persistance, determination as well as a dream that make dreams come true. He tells the stories of his childhood friends who didn't take advantage of their educational opportunities and never broke the bonds of poverty.
Sometimes, tho, his simple formula of: dream, education, hard work & determination is just that: simple. He doesn't talk of unexpected illlnesses that cut short dreams and steal finances, or of mass unemployment where newly graduated university students (like my son) can't find a job that uses their skills. Not that he should be dumping cold water on the dreams of children, so I don't know how to answer this dilemna myself.
All in all a very nice read for preteens and teens who need to believe the world goes right if you believe and work hard.
Congradulations Mr. Hernandez on your incredible life!
BTW, I got this book free from Goodread's Giveaway.