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Review of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist
by Sylvia Acevedo
Intermediate, Middle School     Clarion     311 pp.
9/18     978-1-328-80956-8     $17.99
e-book ed. 978-1-328-52690-8     $9.99
Spanish ed. 978-1-328-53481-1     $18.99

Acevedo defied expectations as a girl growing up in a working-class Mexican American family in 1960s and 1970s Las Cruces, New Mexico. Thanks to her life experiences and aspirations, she went on to become (literally) a rocket scientist and is now CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Joining Girl Scouts in second grade — with its projects, trips, badges, and cookie-selling — helped Acevedo learn how to “be prepared,” gain confidence, and explore her interests in math and science. The program affected many other aspects of her life as well, giving her encouragement to open her own savings account, play basketball, learn to fix her family’s car, and attend college and graduate school for engineering. Acevedo doesn’t shy away from matter-of-factly discussing difficult parts of her youth, including her little sister contracting meningitis, her parents’ strained marriage, and her own difficult relationship with her father, as well as the racial and gender prejudice she faced. Occasional black-and-white photographs between chapters add intimacy to her story. Despite some awkward narrative transitions and repetitiveness in the writing, Acevedo’s moving autobiographical account shines in its honesty, personal details, and inspirational message.

From the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Cynthia K. Ritter About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.

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