Thursday, June 13, 2013

Man on a Mission - Book Review

A New Book on the Inspiring Life of Astronaut and Physician David Hilmers Teaches Young Readers to Aim for the Stars
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Tween-aged readers will embark on an incredible journey through space and beyond in renowned astronaut and physician David Hilmers’ autobiography, MAN ON A MISSION: The David Hilmers Story (Zonderkidz; $6.99; May 2013).

Co-written by Rick Houston, Hilmers, 61, recounts his extraordinary life story– how a young boy from Iowa became a rocketeer and man of medicine and was able to travel to places far beyond those he ever imagined.
Chronicling a bumpy, yet steady, road to success, Hilmers shares never-before-seen pictures of his childhood, his family, mission trips around the world, and his memorable space shuttle flight aboard the STS-26 Discovery in 1988. 
The well-known figure also touches on personal aspects of his life about which even his most dedicated fans may not be aware —the grief he feels for his friends lost in the fatal 1986 Challenger flight and his life-threatening fall down Macchu Picchu.
Through good times and bad, Hilmers has fiercely held onto his faith. He reveals how space travel and reaching out to those in need here on earth invigorated him in a way he never thought possible. “I became aware of how big God was and always will be,” he reflects in the book.
Moving, spiritual, and at times thrilling, MAN ON A MISSION will inspire young space enthusiasts and anyone interested in the life of an astronaut.  It will also provide a deeper look at a man revered by many, a man of God. Together with Houston, Hilmers captures the finest details of his exceptional life, bringing the American hero and his fans that much closer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Houston planned to become a minister before he began his career as a journalist. With more than 20 years as a full-time writer under his belt, Houston has authored five books and covered a variety of articles—from NASCAR to NASA. He is also a deacon in his church and regularly contributes to Stand Firm, a men's devotional magazine published by LifeWay. He lives in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

ABOUT DAVID HILMERS: David Hilmers is a retired NASA astronaut who served between the years 1980 and 1992. A former U.S. Marine, he received a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Cornell College and a M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He later earned a Doctor of Medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine and a M.S. from the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. As a Colonel for NASA, Hilmers flew in four missions to space, including the STS-26 Discovery, which was the first flight after the Challenger flight of 1986 resulted in seven lives lost. He currently serves as a faculty member of the Medicine/Pediatrics department of the Baylor College of Medicine. Born in Clinton, Iowa, he now calls Houston, Texas, his home. Hilmers has two grown sons.

What I thought:

This was a good book overall, I found it interesting to read about Mr. Hilmers' life and he seemed like a very dedicated, hardworking man. The details about the space programs and techniques were also interesting. I don't read a lot of non-fiction but this book held my interest until the end. I thought it very admirable that this man turned to medical efforts and helped poor people in missions work. The only thing that I was not impressed with was the fact that Mr. Hilmers and his wife divorced after many years of marriage - and it sounded like he put all his work before his family. For that, he gets a thumbs-down from me. :(

I would recommend this book to anybody interested in astronauts! :)

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