About the Book
In the summer of 1959, young Ronald E. McNair PhD '77 was denied checking out books at the segregated Lake City Public Library in South Carolina. Refusing to leave without his science books, he waited. The library staff called the police and his mother, after which McNair was allowed to borrow his books. His composure before authority at such a young age left an impression on many. Ron's Big Mission is a children's book inspired by this event. Today the library houses the Ronald E. McNair Life History Center, which opened in 2011 beside McNair’s gravesite along with a statue and square erected in his honor. Plans are underway to expand the center into a science and technology museum, dedicated to helping South Carolina students learn about space, physics, computers and other topics in STEM.
Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself. But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, Ron's obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage--it is a young man's first courageous mission. Here is an inspiring story, based on Ron McNair's life, of how a little boy, future scientist, and Challenger astronaut desegregated his library through peaceful resistance.
Blue, Rose; Corinne Naden; and Don Tate (illustrator). Ron's Big Mission. New York: Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2009.