Clear Skies

Clear Skies

by Jessica Scott Kerrin
  • early-chapter-books
  • fiction
  • historical
  • stem

Set during the US/Soviet Space race in the summer of 1961, Eleven-year-old Arno Creelman wants nothing more than to be an astronomer. It seems that his struggle with claustrophobia has little impact on his one true passion. Unlike his annoying friend Buddy, who wants to become an astronaut and is not at all bothered by the idea of flying in a cramped space capsule, Arno dreams of exploring the galaxies with powerful telescopes back on Earth.

The story reflects his obsession about all things space-related, and is packed with fascinating space information and fun facts that have been vetted by astronomy experts and scientists.

It also touches on mental health as Arno grapples with claustrophobia, particularly when discovers that his dreams of becoming an astronomer may explode like an extragalactic supernova. (Who knew an observatory was a small space, too??)


Jessica Scott Kerrin, author

Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of The Things Owen Wrote, The Spotted Dog Last Seen (finalist for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the John Spray Mystery Award) and The Missing Dog Is Spotted. She is also the author of the picture book, The Better Tree Fort (illustrated by Qin Leng), and is known for the "Lobster Chronicles" series and the bestselling "Martin Bridge" series. Her novels have been translated into French, Turkish, Russian and Slovenian.


  • A winning middle-grade novel which deals with both mental-health issues and the wonders of space exploration (along with a bit of 20th-century history) in an accessible, non-threatening manner. [...] Kerrin has a knack for capturing the lives and voices of her young characters, drawing personalities, conflicts, and underlying secrets with realistic dialogue and strong narrative blocking. - Quill & Quire Link to review
  • A quiet reminder that the stars are not out of reach, with work and well-timed help. - Kirkus

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Groundwood Books



rights available: World, excl. North America

Additional Information

age range: 8-12

number of pages: 144

publication date: 08/01/2019

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book