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Summary: This is the story of Edwin Eugene Aldrin - more famously known as Buzz, because his sister called him that. Buzz' dad flew air plans to transfer oil, and Buzz first flight in a plane was with his dad when he was 10. He said that when he got older he would fly planes like his Dad, but after becoming a pilot, Buzz wanted to be an astronaut. This is an illustrated biography of Buzz Aldrin's life.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, early reader, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 8 to 10
Reading Level: 6.1
Age of Child: Read by a student at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, New Hope, MN. This was part of our Use Your ABCs classroom literacy project.
Young Reader Reaction: I picked the book because it had lots of pictures, which made it easy to imagine what was happening. I love reading about people's dreams. The book started out really slow, but when I got to the part about becoming a pilot and a doctor, then an astronaut it got interesting. I liked the book because it tells us about a boy and his dreams to become the best ... anything but "Edwin."
Adult Reader Reaction: The illustrations look as though they are drawn from photographs. It would have been nice to have both forms mixed together for this book. The story is interesting, and follows a nice chronology, but I didn't find it very exciting or engaging.
Pros: This biography gives kids interested in flying and space a first-hand glimpse of all that it takes to reach your goals.
Cons: It would be nice to have materials that go beyond the biography itself so that kids could learn more about space history and space exploration.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a biography written for the transitional reader. As such, it is somewhat choppy and thin on details.
Educational Themes: This is the story of Buzz Aldrin's life. The text talks about the subjects he studied, different areas of specialization, and how the space program worked. Each of these (and other topics) can be the start of additional subject research.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 6.1
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - biography, space
Date(s) Reviewed: July 2009, February 2010
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