Book Review – Kacy and the Space Shuttle Secret by Sharon Kahn
June 18, 2015
Eleven-year-old Kacy Holiday’s idea about sending a houseplant on a shuttle mission into outer space has astronomical consequences.
I chose this for a read aloud at work for 3rd and 4th graders when my options were limited for a fiction book about space. This book wasn’t a homerun, but it did have some bright spots.
On the Plus Side:
- The book does provide a good overview of the preparation required for a space mission, as well as the types of experiments that may be conducted during a mission.
- The novel can also be used to provide an introduction into Science Fair projects (though you wouldn’t want to pick this book for that reason only…..it’s only a basic intro).
- I enjoyed that character of Kacy, and how she shares some of her struggles at school. I think that part of the plot is relatable to many kids.
- I like that Kahn tried to combine a little bit of mystery to increase interest in the story.
On the Minus Side:
- My students in 3rd and 4th grades had difficulty with the inferencing required to follow the story line….I would recommend this one for slightly older students.
- The plot is not very focused. The story ends up in a totally unexpected place that doesn’t really flow with the rest of the book.
- The pacing is not stellar either. There are moments when you are drawn in and want to keep reading, and there are moments that definitely drag.
- I don’t want to give anything away, but the author sets a very bad and unsafe example for young readers near the end of the story. It was so not plausible, and I used it as an example of what not to do with my students.
- I wasn’t a big fan of the dynamics that existed within Kacy’s family. I thought at times that Kahn was headed in the right direction with this, but she didn’t quite develop it fully.
Overall, this was a fair read, but I probably will not use it again. I’m still on the lookout for a good fiction read aloud about space if you know of one!