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Ron McNair loves going to the Lake City Public Library and pouring over anything he can find about airplanes and flight. But the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s does not allow Ron to have his own library card. He depends on the occasional kindness of a white person willing to check the books out for him. Ron is frustrated by the injustice. One day, when he is 9 years old, he sets out on a pondered and planned mission. He enters the library and chooses books. He then climbs on the librarian’s desk and refuses to leave until he is given a library card. The protest is quiet but insistent, and Ron stands his ground. At the end of a day that includes the appearance of the police, Ron receives a bravely fought-for and treasured library card. Ron grew up to be a scientist and astronaut. He lost his life with the rest of the crew on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986, no longer able to tell this story himself. Ron’s Big Mission is a fictionalized version of the incident as told by his mother and others who were present on that day. (Ages 6 – 12, Dutton Books for Young Readers)

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