It is the summer of 1961, and eleven-year-old Arno Creelman wants nothing more than to be an astronomer.

Fortunately, 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.

But first he has to enter a local radio contest. If he can phone in and correctly answer a skill-testing question, he’ll win an invitation to the opening of the new observatory.

Then another boy moves to the neighborhood, and Arno’s anxiety grows as he feels abandoned by his friends (and even his own dog, Comet). Suddenly, his dreams seem about to turn into a cosmic nightmare.

Clear Skies can by purchased from Groundwood Books or from booksellers everywhere.

For young readers

Field notes

  • Cover used by permission of Groundwood Books. Text copyright © 2019 Jessica Scott Kerrin; jacket illustration by Katy Dockrill; interior illustrations by Emma Sakamoto