Blast Off (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This timely reissue from 1973 is a simple story of a young Black girl with a grand vision. Regina Williams dreamed of being an astronaut all her life, obsessed with space and rocket ships. Her friends tease her and say she’ll never reach her goal, but Regina has something important to realize her aspiration: imagination. Originally published when astronauts were white males, this boldly illustrated story demonstrates the power of faith in our ambitions. -Holly

— From Summer/Fall Booknotes 2021


An inspiring story about a young Black girl who wants to be an astronaut, written years before Black astronauts were sent into space. This remarkable picture book has been out of print for decades, until now.

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.

An inspiring story of interstellar space travel with illustrations by the legendary Diane and Leo Dillon.

About the Author

Linda C. Cain and Susan Rosenbaum's Blast Off was illustrated by Leo (1933-2012) and Diane Dillon. The Dillons worked together on more than 50 children's books and were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society of Illustrators in 2008.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781681375687
ISBN-10: 1681375680
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Publication Date: September 21st, 2021
Pages: 32
Language: English