Review: Astrotwins by Mark Kelly and Martha Freeman

astrotwins by mark kelly and martha freeman

A team of middle schoolers prepares for blastoff in this adventure from the author of the New York Times bestselling Mousetronaut, based on the childhoods of real-life astronauts Mark Kelly and his twin brother Scott.

It’s a long, hot summer and Scott and Mark are in big trouble for taking apart (aka destroying) their dad’s calculator. As a punishment, they’re sent to their grandfather’s house, where there’s no TV and they have to do chores. And Grandpa is less tolerant of the twins’ constant bickering. “Why don’t you two work together on something constructive. What if you built a go-kart or something?” Grandpa suggests.

But it’s not a go-kart the twins are interested in. They want to build a rocket. With the help of Jenny, nicknamed Egg, and a crew of can-do kids, they set out to build a real rocket that will blast off and orbit the Earth. The question soon becomes: which twin will get to be the astronaut?

Written by a NASA astronaut with four space flights under his belt, this exciting story includes extensive back matter on the space program with fantastic facts and details.

Description taken from Goodreads.

ASTROTWINS is one of those books where it really depends on the person who I would recommend it to. In terms of factoids, this book is awesome. It’s very informative and incredibly didactic. The only problem is that it’s a little overly so. ASTROTWINS is, in many ways, a huge info-dump. This is a common case in historical fiction and scientific lit, and this read is no exception.

However, there are many aspects to ASTROTWINS are really entertaining. I loved getting to know the twins and reading about parents who are actually alive. There were some great exciting parts, and there was a lot of elements and plot choices that were unique. All things considered, the ratio of info-dumping to great parts wasn’t bad at all.

On another note, this story isn’t the best written. I thought there were a lot of little moments that could’ve been dropped from the story. However, I loved the way that the characters were crafted and there was a solid plot.

This is a really fun little book that I would definitely recommend to kids who are interested in space and/or rockets and inventing. It’s almost along the same vein as Phineas & Ferb. It’s a fun little read, but for most people I would recommend skimming the stuff that makes them want to space out. 3 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 224


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