Houston, Is There A Problem?

  • Pages:256
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:space camp, astronaut training, leadership, facing your fears, NASA
  • Pub Date:09/14/2021
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Lexile:650L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:Z
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Thirteen-year-old Houston Williams is smart. Very smart.

So no one is surprised when he earns a scholarship to attend a prestigious NASA space camp. At the training facility he immediately bonds with his new team, including a girl named Teal. He also clashes with a girl on a rival team named Ashley, who matches or beats him in every exercise. The three of them impress the directors so much they are invited to join a top-secret research project that studies how space travel affects people of different ages. But only two of them will actually be going into space. Houston will do whatever it takes to make sure he's picked.

Praise for Eric Walters's previous work:

The King of Jam Sandwiches pulls us into the unforgettable friendship of hard-working Robbie and tough-as-nails Harmony in an exceptionally honest survival story that is also compulsively readable and emotionally gripping. Walters has written a heart-wrenching novel about what it is like to grow up amidst poverty and mental illness, one that speaks to contemporary young readers and offers them hope.”—Governor General's Literary Award Peer Assessment Committee for Winner The King of Jam Sandwiches

★ “Tug at the heartstrings and tickle the funny bone…This warm tale is definitely one for the keeper shelves. Highly recommended.”—School Library Journal, starred review for The King of Jam Sandwiches

“Navigates the experience of this unique time period with heart. I couldn't put it down. My students won't be able to either.”—Kim Moss, Teacher-Librarian, Creekside Middle School, Bentonville, AR, review for Don't Stand So Close to Me

“This is the perfect book for these pandemic times. It presents the difficulties families face but gives hope that creativity can find solutions. Middle school students will love it. A quick read.”—Must Read Literature, review for Don't Stand So Close to Me

“Highlight the exercise and importance of team leadership, teamwork, and team loyalty.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“An energetic and enjoyable read…Dynamic scenes offer an excellent mixture of fact-based science and exciting adventure…An engaging story of perseverance and teamwork that is sure to be devoured by middle-grade readers while simultaneously inspiring many future astronauts.”
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
BC Books for BC Schools   | 2021  |  Commended
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens   | 2022  |  Commended