Title: THE ASTRONAUT'S DAUGHTER
Genre: YA Historical
Word Count: 75,000
When sixteen-year-old Evelyn’s father accepts a position with NASA’s Project Gemini to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, she and her family are thrust into the spotlight. Evelyn pushes aside shyness—and her science fair trophies—to embrace her new social life. Football player Kip seems like potential boyfriend material, and her new friends eagerly invite her to seniors-only parties. She’s even offered a spot with an exclusive debutante cotillion. Whether it’s all due to her father’s celebrity doesn’t matter; for the first time, Evelyn is in.
Then Evelyn meets David, a rising student civil rights leader who challenges Evelyn’s comfortable lifestyle while he faces racial discrimination. She’s drawn to his passion for the cause, but her friends consider an interracial friendship as unacceptable. When Evelyn speaks too readily to a reporter at a local anti-segregation protest, her actions threaten not only her reputation at school, but also her father’s high-profile job. Tension rises between Evelyn's classmates and the rival all-Negro high school, where David attends, when prank wars turn violent. Evelyn must decide whether her newfound popularity is worth her silence. If she does speak out, will her father lose his chance to set foot on the moon?
I never gave the moon much thought until my father told me he wanted to walk on it.
Ever since NASA hired him for the Gemini project, the one that set the stage for Apollo and the future moon landing, that rock in the sky dictated my family’s every move. Especially tonight, as party guests celebrating Houston’s new space center opening watched us like we were a roadside attraction. Well, a fancy-dressed one, anyway. I’d aimed for more Audrey Hepburn and less Shirley Temple, but I didn’t quite feel like a glamorous society girl.
Maybe I would if I could stop sweating.
“Evelyn, there you are!” I jumped at my mother's presence and winced as sweat glued my silk dress to my back. She looked like a carbon copy of Jackie Kennedy with her bouffant and slim-skirted evening gown. “I'd like you to meet someone.”
I’d expected another lady from The Daughters of the American Revolution, or The United Daughters of the Confederacy as both were well-represented tonight. Instead, she introduced me to a boy with sandy hair faded at the tips like he'd spent all summer in the sun.
“Pleasure to meet you.” He shook my hand with a firm grip—probably from a military family, like me. “Name's Kip.”
I smiled but words caught in my throat. Kip wasn't just any boy—he was this entire package of tanned skin, athletic build and gleaming white teeth. The perfect poster boy for Texas tourism.