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One Small Step

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
It's 1969 and Scott is doing all the things that normal boys do - as well as flying planes with his flight instructor dad. When Scott successfully crash lands a training plane, NASA come to call. They are conducting a secret space programme - a test flight before the first moon landing. Who better to pilot their craft than a young boy aviator?
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published June 2nd 2008)
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Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One Small Step, by Philip Kerr, is a historical fiction book about a 13 year old boy named Scott. After crash-landing a military training jet with his father unconscious, he is recruited by NASA to be the pilot on a top-secret mission to the moon. The crew was originally all chimps, but one refused to go so they got Scott. He and his two crewmen Choo-Choo and Benny the Ball set off on the first lunar landing to make sure it is safe for the other astronauts who will be making the first official l ...more
Gretchen Faskas
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read a synopsis of the book and looked up the author, I thought how in the world could a writer from England write anything about Texas or space exploration? However, this book took historical elements from the days of the great space race, as well as his own dreams of being an astronaut and combined them into an awesome story. If you have an interest in space, history, or just like a good-hearted happy story, I highly highly recommend "One Small Step"
Jacob Schiessl
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book One Small Step by P.B. Kerr is about three main characters. Their names are Scott, Scott's father, and Kit, Scott's best friend. This story takes place in 1968, in Houston Texas. Scott has a talent for flying planes. Scott's dad has taught Scott many things about flying. He was a member of the air force in World War 2. Scott, at the age of 14 can fly a army plane solo. P.70 "Scott, you have lots of potential. You are a great flyer. I believe in you Scott." The word is getting around abo ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for

Scott MacLeod is about to become the youngest astronaut in NASA, only no one is supposed to know about it. His mission is a secret one that not even NASA will talk about or the other astronauts know about.

It all started when Scott's dad, who is an Air Force pilot, started teaching Scott to fly. Scott is only twelve, so when he is able to crash land an Air Force plane, one he shouldn't have even known how to fly, NASA takes not
Karen Ball
Author of the Children of the Lamp series, Kerr tackles the Space Race of the 1960's in this one. Scott's dad is an Air Force pilot who teaches others to fly the top jets and trains astronauts. His mother hates flying and the war in Vietnam, and so Scott's parents separate -- he tries living with her in Florida, but ends up happily living with his dad just outside of Houston. Scott turns out to be a gifted pilot, and his dad teaches him to fly not only the prop plane they own, but also secretly ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From reading all the reviews, it seems that most folks are not familiar with science fiction. I have been an SF and space enthusiast all my life [and I'm 63!] and IMHO, this book is a wonderful addition to YA SF; a great intro to the genre, if one can accept the wonder and 'suspension of disbelief' needed for these kinds of reads. If you liked this book, you should try some of Robert A. Heinlein's "juveniles:" 'Have Spacesuit, Will Travel,' 'The Starbeast,' 'Rocketship Galileo,' are fine tales i ...more
Paul Lunger
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philip Kerr's "One Small Step" deals with the fictional scenario of NASA running test missions during the 1960s era of Gemini, Mercury & Apollo with chimps prior to the actual humans making the trip. This is the story of Scott MacLeod a 13 y/o who by a twist of fate and an safe landing of a plane his father is teaching him to fly who gets recruited into NASA to replace an chimp who is not co-operating on a mission that will take place prior to the actual launch of Apollo 11 in July 1969. Ker ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wild fantasy guaranteed to appeal to the aspiring young space traveler and any young person who yearns to be free of the limitations of being a kid. Thirteen-year-old Scott has learned to fly from his Air Force father but frustatingly, he's not old enough to get a pilot's license. When he pulls off an emergency landing after his father is knocked unconscious in an accident, it draws the attention of NASA brass. Will is recruited to attend astronaut school and participate in a secret test lunar ...more
Jan 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a really interesting book...until the whole "moon experience" part. That completely threw me for a loop, and by the time I was halfway through the conversation with "the voice" I was bored. The only thing I really liked about the moon experience was that (view spoiler) Also, the ending was a little cheesier than I would have liked.

Even though I have never flown an airplane, the descriptions of how everything worked were perfect and I could e
Feb 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far I think it is a very good read. It gets a little slow in the middle but I think it will be worth it. It is definitely a subject I know nothing about. The story unfolds around the 1960s NASA space missions. Of course it is a little unbelievable since the main character is only 13 years old and has been asked to be part of a moon space mission. But that is probably also what makes it a wonderful adventure story.Ok so I wish it would have remained an adventure story, but it becomes something ...more
Addison Children's Services
I picked this one up because it sounded Alex Riderish �?? boy selected by NASA to be shot to the moon on a secret practice mission. It is not Alex Rider. All the passion, tension and excitement are missing. I didn't really care whether the boy, Scott, lived or died. A much slower read than Alex Rider and I thought rather difficult to follow, especially for our target age group. The historical fiction aspect was kind of fun for me as I am exactly the same age as Scott. I worry a little that kids ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though this is a bit long at 320 pp, it races right along. Although I read it a few years ago, the major plot points are still vivid: It's 1969, and thirteen-year-old Scott lands a jet when his Air Force flight instructor dad takes ill; Scott is just the right size to step into NASA's secret chimpanzee space program, since one of the chimps has gone rogue in the eleventh hour. Scott's estranged parents don't agree on his flying, so everything has to be secret from his mom. Once Scott starts trai ...more
Lynn Alan Heath
I was greatly imptressed with the authenticity of this novel. I can remember the moon landing and subsequent walk on it in July 1969, I was 13 myself just like Scott in this book. I am aware of the many "bogey" sightings although I have no idea what they are. I was disappointed though in the way P. B. Kerr described the voice as being God or what was thought to be a god or an angel or vision, but in reality was an alien presence. It was also quite discouraging to find man and chimpanzees being r ...more
Cathrine Bonham
This book really would have rated higher except for the first ten pages of the last chapter (pages 240-257). Within these ten pages the author takes the book in a weird direction that has nothing to do with whatever historical foundation that it might have had. The introduction of this "Alien Intelligence" took me right out of the story and shifted it from an amusing take on history to a cleaverly disguised push for "New Age" beliefs. The new reasoning is droped completly out of the blue with re ...more
This book was really good! I would definitely consider this a "boy book" at my library. The whole story about a 13 year old boy going to the moon with two chimps makes for interesting reading. I got a little bored with all the in-depth descriptions of the fighter jets, airplanes, and what was going on in the space shuttle, but I think kids (especially boys) would be enthralled with those parts. Overall, I thought this was a great book with an interesting spin on the unanswered questions from the ...more
10-11 Adrian
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a boy who likes to fly airplanes.This boy is a good kid only his parents are sort of seperated.One day he goes to where his dad lives.While he is with his dad he starts to learn how to fly a plane.He and his dad make sure his mom doesn't find.His mom dislikes a lot of what the boy does.One day the boy gets the chance to go into space.Now his life will change forever.
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bpl-teen-club
Wow! Such an interesting book....the kids will love this one, very informative (especially about the questions no one wants to ask)!!! Definately recommend this to all YA readers!!! and I say, YA, because of the swearing only!!!!
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
Appropriate for older boys (not mine). Too many references to Playboy. Children of the Lamp series by this author is great, though.
Students with an interest in science or space exploration would love this book. Much detail.
A technical, Sci Fi/historical adventure about a 13 year old boy taking the place of a space chimp to be the first American crew to successfully land on the moon.
Katie Jane
Great rec for middle school boys. Best part: detailed description of the indignity of using the bathroom in space.
Shonna Froebel
A boy who has been secretly taught by his father to fly is drafted to go on a secret space mission to the moon in 1968 when a chimp falls ill.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting historical fiction book about the space program
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would never happen, but I liked the idea. Fun to read and fun to consider.
Nov 22, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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Kerr has published eleven novels under his full name and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
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