First published in 1973, a year after the final Apollo mission, when American astronauts were exclusively white and male, Blast Off is the story of a young African American girl with a vision and a mission.
Regina Williams wants to be an astronaut. One day she’s drawing a picture of a rocket ship on the sidewalk when her friends come by and start to tease her. “You’ll never be an astronaut,” they say.
In reply, she builds her own spaceship with old boxes, pipes, and cans. Before long she’s in space, her eyes wide with wonder at the smallness of the blue-green Earth, the blackness of space, the stars and satellites. When she comes back down to earth, her friends don’t believe her, but she knows her dream is real.