The Stars Beckoned: Edward White’s Amazing Walk in Space

A lyrical picture book biography of Edward White, the first American to walk in space–and an ode to the beauty and wonder of the stars that brought him there.

Edward White
loved the night,
lived where stars were big and bright.

The evening sky–
so wide, so high.
Made him wonder. Made him sigh.

Edward White was the first American astronaut to walk in space. But before his spacewalk, he was just a boy who loved the stars. As he grew up, he would look up at the night sky in wonder–he knew that, one day, he would visit the stars themselves. In this touching and poignant picture book biography, we see how Edward’s passion for the stars shaped the course of his life, and how he came to realize, even in the depths of space, what was ultimately most important to him–his family.

With backmatter containing photos and more information on Edward’s life, Candy Wellins and Courtney Dawson deliver a book that is as much a feast for readers’ eyes as the stars were for Edward’s.

Why I wrote this book

Besides being a writer, I’m also a teacher.  In 2018, I was teaching a middle school science class and we were discussing the US/Soviet Space Race.  We started talking about all the US space firsts (First man in space, first woman in space, first man on the moon, etc) and a student asked who the first American to spacewalk was.  I looked up the answer and discovered Edward White.  When his spacewalk was over, Edward was reluctant to renter the spacecraft. When he finally did, he said, “This is the saddest moment of my life.”  Those are big emotions that I knew young readers would understand.  At that moment, I knew Edward’s story needed to be shared with the world.

“The right stuff for children with the stars in their eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An introduction to a space pioneer that’s ideal for the youngest nonfiction readers.” —Publishers Weekly

By Candy Wellins
Illustrated by Courtney Dawson
Pub Date: April 20, 2021
Pages: 32 pages
Publisher: Philomel Books, a division of Penguin/Random House
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593118049
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593118047