A Journal for Christa (Hardcover)

Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space

By Grace George Corrigan

University of Nebraska Press, 9780803214590, 215pp.

Publication Date: September 11, 1993

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/1/2000)

List Price: 35.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Most people remember where they were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, just as they remember how they felt when humans first set foot on the moon. Elements of both reactions are present in the story of Christa McAuliffe, the energetic young schoolteacher chosen to be the first civilian to go into space—and who died with her astronaut companions in the Challenger explosion of January 28, 1986.
In this straightforward memoir, McAuliffe's mother, Grace George Corrigan, makes it very clear just who and what the nation lost in the Challenger tragedy. The product of family history, notes and letters, and the commemorative efforts to honor her daughter, A Journal for Christa provides a very personal biography of a remarkable young woman.
Christa McAuliffe's story is solidly American—the eldest child of a close Catholic Massachusetts family, and a dedicated Girl Scout, she came of age in the turbulent sixties and early seventies and became a schoolteacher and mother. Generous, outgoing, funny, and beloved by her many friends and students, she was little known beyond her personal circle until selected by NASA to be the first civilian sent on a space mission as the "Teacher in Space." Whether or not the selection was a publicity stunt, Christa McAuliffe may have proved more than NASA bargained for. Honest, direct, and outspoken, she was impatient with the stultifying ceremonies of the government bureaucracy and did not hesitate to speak out on behalf of the constituency she felt she had been selected to represent: American public schoolteachers and the children in their classrooms.

About the Author

Grace George Corrigan continues to speak publicly to perpetuate Christa McAuliffe’s commitment to American education. She lives in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Praise For A Journal for Christa: Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space

"A compelling account of an extraordinary American. Anyone concerned about making a difference should read this book."—Patricia Schroeder, Congresswoman

— Patricia Schroeder

"A mother's journal offers a poignant view of this real-life heroine who continues to inspire us."—Lamar Alexander, former U.S. Secretary of Education

— Lamar Alexander

"A Journal for Christa is the unmistakable work of a justifiably proud mother sharing her pleasure and pride in her daughter’s accomplishments through stories of ordinary and exceptional matters, family and public. Through vignettes of family life across four generations, she celebrates the qualities that made Christa the unanimous choice for 'Teacher in Space': her enjoyment of life, generous spirit, and sensitivity, backed by intelligence, high standards, and determination. . . . A warm, personal view of an admirable woman by the woman who taught her and loved her."—Booklist

— Booklist

"Corrigan blames the tragedy on NASA and 'its egos, marginal decisions, ignorance and irresponsibility.' However, the author also dwells on the heady period of her daughter’s selection, the 114 hours of preparation for the flight and the quantities of mail, awards, tributes and memorials in McAuliffe’s honor."—Publishers Weekly

— Publishers Weekly

"A straightforward account of one woman’s 'ordinary' life: a life made extraordinary nevertheless by a passion for teaching coupled with a rare and unexpected chance to chase [her] dreams toward the stars."—Boston Globe

— Boston Globe

"A memorable, sometimes poignant, look back at the life of Christa McAuliffe."—American Teacher

— American Teacher

"A Journal for Christa recounts Christa’s life as only a mother would know it, filled with details of family life, photographs, and excerpts of Christa’s many letters home. . . . Christa McAuliffe’s life serves as an inspiration to people everywhere—and perhaps especially to young women—to live life fully, with a sense of adventure and purpose."—Odyssey

— Odyssey