Title: Ron's Big Mission
Author: Rose Blue and Corinne Naden
Illustrator: Don Tate
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 2.9
Concepts: discrimination, education, careers
Review: Ron, a young boy from Lake City, South Carolina, grew up at a time when segregation laws and other institutionalized forms of racism prevented him from enjoying the privileges that came with having his own library card. Although the local librarian always greeted the library’s most frequent patron with a smile and allowed him to read on site, Ron was not allowed to bring home the books he so loved to read. It took a courageous act of civil disobedience on young Ron’s part to stand up for his rights, obtain a library card, and take a step toward the end of segregation in his home town.
Based loosely on actual events in the childhood of Ron McNair, Ron’s Big Mission can inspire children to dream big about their future goals and also think about how they can, in big or small ways, work toward social justice in their community. The name Ron McNair is familiar to many, as Ron grew up to become the talented scientist and astronaut who, sadly, perished in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger shortly after take-off in 1986. This background adds an even deeper layer of poignancy and meaning to the powerful story.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children