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Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Kids
ISBN: 9781681375687
Pages: 32
Publication Date: September 21, 2021

Blast Off

by Linda C. Cain and Susan Rosenbaum, illustrated by Diane and Leo Dillon


First published in 1973, a year after the final Apollo mission, when American astronauts were exclusively white and male, Blast Off is the story of a young African American girl with a vision and a mission. Regina Williams wants to be an astronaut. One day she’s drawing a picture of a rocket ship on the sidewalk when her friends come by and start to tease her. “You’ll never be an astronaut,” they say. In reply, she builds her own spaceship with old boxes, pipes, and cans. Before long she’s in space, her eyes wide with wonder at the smallness of the blue-green Earth, the blackness of space, the stars and satellites. When she comes back down to earth, her friends don’t believe her, but she knows her dream is real. An inspiring story of interstellar space travel with illustrations by the legendary Diane and Leo Dillon.

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[An] extraordinarily imaginative little book. . . . Blast Off endures as a heartening antidote to a culture that all too frequently contains and confines children’s dreams by selling them lesser visions of the possible, failing to cultivate in them the essential capacity to imagine immensities.
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Blast Off is fantastic.
—Betsy Bird