The Book of the Week is “A Smile as Big as the Moon” by Mike Kersjes, published in 2003. This book tells the story of a Midwestern special education class that got to go to “space camp” at NASA’s facility in Alabama. Each week, the camp engaged students from several schools nationwide in a competition in which the students played the role of astronauts.
The students in the special education class had various problems such as Tourette’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, learning disabilities, etc. However, their teacher wanted to prove to them and the world that they could function just as well as students in regular classes. They practiced long and hard for weeks prior to the competition. The teacher was also coach of the high school’s football team. He was instrumental in instilling confidence in and encouraging teamwork among the kids. Read the book to find out what happened.