Book Review: Reaching for the Stars by José M. Hernández

“We all make our own choices in life, but sometimes it is harder than we realize to make the right choice.”

José M. Hernández, Reaching for the Stars

Title: Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut
Author: José M. Hernández
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir, Science, History, Biography
Pages: 272 (Hardcover)
Published: September 1st, 2012

My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 7/21/2023 – 9/3/2023


I had the honor of getting to hear José Hernández speak while I was visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. His story and outlook on life are inspiring. I spent most of the lecture thinking, “I hope he’s published a book…” The answer was yes! I was even happier to have the chance to meet him and have my copy signed. 

In this memoir, astronaut José Hernández takes us through his journey to NASA from his roots as a young migrant boy living half the year in Mexico and the other half in California. Rich with inspiration, culture, and faith, it’s difficult to put the book down and not feel rejuvenated. 

I savored every page. Everything written is a testament to what determination and dedication can do for people’s lives even when the odds seem stacked against them. I can only wish that I knew with such certainty what I want from my life now as José Hernández did as a child. Even so, the roadmaps he presents for any accomplishment or dream gave me the pause I needed. 

While I was reading the book, I saw the trailer for A Million Miles Away which is the movie based on José Hernández’s life. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a movie! It’s coming to Prime Video on September 15th (2023). I’m sure it will be as wonderful as the book.

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • It was written in an uplifting tone.
  • Again, it was immensely inspiring.
  • I learned quite a few Spanish words.

What I didn’t like:

  • I wish it had been longer!


One section of the book I really admired was a moment of prayer while still in space. As a Catholic myself, I love being able to connect to the experiences of other Catholics out in the world today. The imagery will be something I will keep with me.

Where to buy the book:



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