"'Sherman, what if I told you that everything you’ve ever been taught in school about the history of space travel to Mars was, shall we say, a bit inaccurate.'"

Sherman Tuckerman, also known as Lawrence, has a dream. He wants to be a traveler on the first manned mission to Mars. Despite the disabling aspects of his autism, some people think that he will be the ideal candidate. Sherman states his need to go on the mission to his father in a note: "If I die while pursuing my calling, then at least I will have lived in the math."

Sherman's father—a widower who loves his son and cares more for Sherman's life than for fulfilling his and the government's ambitions—is a sympathetic character who, along with Sherman's friends, are conduits between the boy and the people who represent the wider world that Sherman will have to enter in order to participate in the mission.The disparate characters who comprise the mission members learn to adapt, appreciate, and alternately rebel against their situations. Sherman finds peace in mathematics and notes from his friend. Basketball is among the subjects that become priorities for the young astronaut to remember.

People of all ages will relate to a person's dream appearing to be impossible, nearly realized, nearly taken away, and then becoming a reality. Leener demonstrates knowledge and sensitivity in his description of an adolescent math genius who is high functioning and ambitious, even as he lives with the demands and daily controls of his condition. This story for young adults describes with verisimilitude the struggles of the protagonist. The many strands in the story evoke interest on every page. The realization of his life's dream by a teenager dealing with his genius and special needs is fascinating and inspirational.

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