Northern Lights Book Awards
The Boy Who Touched the Stars/El niño que alcanzó las estrellas
Winner of the STEM Category
Author: Jose M. Hernandez
Illustrator: Steven James Petruccio
Piñata Books

The Boy Who Touched the Stars was written by real-life astronaut Jose M. Hernandez. Now, how cool is that! Born to migrant farmworkers, Hernandez spent most of his childhood traveling up and down California with his family. During these long car rides, he would gaze up at the moon, thinking of it as his best friend. When he saw a man land on the moon, he decided he too would become an astronaut.

That’s an amazing feat for anyone, but Jose didn’t learn to speak English until he was twelve years old! Fortunately, he had a group of cheerleaders, from his second-grade teacher who helped him learn to love books, to his parents who gave him the recipe for success: identify your goal, determine how long it will take to achieve, and create a plan to reach it. Later, Jose learned another key ingredient … never give up. It worked! Even though NASA rejected him eleven times, he was finally chosen to become an astronaut!

As they follow Jose M. Hernandez’s quest, young readers will enjoy the illustrations that bring The Boy Who Touched the Stars to life. They will also relate to Hernandez’s childhood, which was filled with stargazing and the wonderment of space travel. Not only does this book reach the stars, it touches the heart of the dreamer.

You can view the full list of Northern Lights Book Award winners here:


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