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Rocket Girls: The Last Planet (Novel-Paperback) Paperback – March 15, 2011
The latest book club pick from Oprah
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It's about an underfunded Japanese space program in the Solomons, and a small young high school girl who's an excellent candidate for their spaceship.
She finds that she has a sister, from their father, who ran out on his wedding night. The tribe he heads has been causing the rockets to explode, by cursing them, to enjoy the fireworks. With the sister's help - she's the father's favorite - they allow the first "manned" flight to succeed.
There's just enough about astronaut training to make it interesting without boring the reader. And some accidents, in space, that make it adventurous.