Thursday, August 01, 2019

Clear Skies

Kerrin, Jessica Scott. Clear Skies
August 1st 2019 by Groundwood Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Arno and his friend and neighbor, Buddy, are obsessed with different aspects of the space program in the summer of 1961. Buddy thinks he can train to be an astronaut, but Arno is more interested in study facts about stars and planets and wants to become an astronomer. There is a new neighbor who moves in, Robert, who is more into astrology, which Arno holds in disregard. Arno is very interested in a newspaper writer who publishes a column that covers his interests, and he is excited that she is coming to cut the ribbon for a new observatory. He calls the radio station hosting a contest repeatedly... and wins two tickets. His concern, however, is that he may not do well on the visit, since he has very bad claustrophobia, but his conversations about the space program with Buddy help him to deal with this condition, especially when his beloved dog, Comet, runs to his doghouse during a storm, and Arno must get into the house to help his pet. Will Arno be able to enjoy his visit?
Strengths: There are lots of good details about life in 1961, and it was very fun that Buddy's father worked on the Tang account! There are also good details about the space program, as well as astronomy. Modern readers may be surprised at the leisurely pace of Arno's summer, hanging out on the porch and drinking homemade lemonade.
Weaknesses: I wish there had been more of a plot than Arno being concerned about going to the observatory. I was hoping that there would be some bike riding excitement around the neighborhood with Buddy and Robert to punch things up.
What I really think: Debating. I really need books set during this time period, but this was on the slow side.

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