Jada is excited to do a school project about her hero Dr. Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut and the first Black woman to travel to outer space. Jada even gets to pretend to be Dr. Jemison for the presentation in front of her teacher, parents, and friends! But when Jada’s research reminds her how accomplished her hero truly is, she suddenly feels like she’s made a mistake. How can Jada portray someone who seems to have everything together when she feels like she’s falling apart?
When Jada begins researching Dr. Jemison, she struggles with the process. Because she feels imperfect, Jada is insecure about pretending to be Dr. Jemison. For example, Jada thinks, “Dr. Jemison was my hero, but it seemed like she always had everything together. How could I convince people I was her when I felt like I was falling apart?”
As Jada struggles with her emotions, she takes her frustration out on her friend, Miles. Jada blurts something mean and immediately regrets it. Even though it’s difficult, Jada apologizes. She says, “I’m sorry. I was really mad at myself and I didn’t mean to take it out on you.” After Jada apologizes, Miles forgives her and they continue being friends.
Throughout the story, Jada often uses positive communication strategies, which readers will be able to emulate. Even though Jada isn’t perfect, readers will learn how communication is an essential component of friendship. Jada also learns that she has something in common with Dr. Jemison — they both need to overcome fear. Dr. Jemison was afraid of heights while Jada was afraid that she wasn’t good enough.
Jada’s struggle comes to life with black-and-white pictures that have a pop of purple. Jada Jones Star Watcher is intended for readers who are transitioning to chapter books. The story has eight short chapters, easy vocabulary, and illustrations on almost every page. However, the story has several text-only pages and has some complicated sentence structure that might challenge readers.
The Jada Jones Series uses engaging stories to teach readers important life lessons. The books have many positive aspects, including Jada’s traditional two-parent family. Jada’s family plays a significant part in the story and her parents often give her helpful advice.
Readers will relate to Jada’s difficulties preparing her project and her fears of presenting. Along the way, they will also learn interesting facts about astronauts and Dr. Jemison. In the end, Jada realizes that she doesn’t need to know everything and that “anything was possible one step at a time.” Because of the relatable conflicts, Jada Jones Star Watcher will appeal to many young readers, not just those who love space. Readers interested in learning more about inspirational astronauts should also read Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed, and Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker. A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet by Clayton Anderson is another must-read for any space-loving bookworm.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Dang is used once.