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CAUTION: Reading Chasing Space is likely to cause a growth mindset in children. Side effects may include inability to give up, increased positive attitude, and alarmingly big dreams 😉 When I found out that the Youth Headliner for the 2018 Festival of the Book was an astronaut who has also played for the NFL, I was pretty pumped. But after a little bit of research, I was floored to find out an incredible all-around role model and man Leland Melvin really is. Mr. Melvin’s biography, Chasing Space, tells the story of his action-packed life – from a young athlete and determined scientist overcoming racism to a draft pick for the Detroit Lions to an astronaut for NASA 👩🏿🚀, and everything in between. But his story comes with mistakes, failures, and painful moments, and these are where Melvin really shines. In the book, he has this wonderful way of talking through his feelings – letting the reader know that yes, as a strong black male, he feels pain and defeat and lets himself cry – and then deciding to pick up and use it to keep moving himself forward. His positive attitude and growth mindset are truly something remarkable. Chasing Space is told in more of a non-fiction format than a narrative, so fiction lovers might have a little bit of trouble getting through it. But Melvin’s life has been so exciting, and his personal details are so endearing, that they’ll be well rewarded if they stick it out. Gracious but not obnoxious, faithful but not preachy, and proud of his African American heritage without being exclusive, this biography shines. I am so excited to share Chasing Space with my middle grade readers and to see all of the amazing conversations, experiments, and dreams it inspires. We can’t wait to welcome you to @st.annesbelfield next month, @lelandmelvin!! 🚀🌒👨🏿🔬@vabookfest #bookreview #stem #nasa #chasingspace