A handsomely packaged look back at an epochal achievement. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, bibliography, sources, index) (Nonfiction/poetry. 10-13)
"At first/ it's only a dream--/ an ambitious, outrageous idea." This account of NASA's first Apollo missions marries a captivating free-verse narrative with lifelike illustrations as it takes readers through the 2,979 days from President Kennedy's moonwalk announcement to Neil Armstrong's "giant leap for mankind." Gonzalez (Seven and a Half Tons of Steel) extends the realistic precision and lyrical imagery offered in words by Slade (Astronaut Annie) with vivid mixed-media illustrations that stun with photographic realism and varied perspectives, from a close-up of an astronaut's gloved hand to expansive, breathtaking scenes of Earth from afar. A spread of statistical recaps of each mission and its astronauts further complement the lyrical lines, along with several full-color NASA archival photographs. Addendums offer an Apollo 11 postscript and a glimpse into the jobs required for the Apollo program. (Women and people of color, as per history, aren't abundant in this account of U.S. astronauts.) Launched in advance of next year's 50th anniversary of the first moon walk, this well-researched title offers a stirring introduction to one of humankind's most impressive undertakings. Ages 10-14. Author's agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. (Sept.) ■Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 5 Up--This stunning book accurately details the U.S. space race to the moon and the very real dangers and pitfalls that accompanied it. Slade's carefully crafted, often alliterative text, written in free verse, is both succinct and readable, drawing this large topic down to the most necessary and interesting facts with enough detail to excite young teens as well as adults who may have lived through the missions. Gonzalez states in a note that his goal was "to create the illusion of being there," and indeed he has, from the science fiction-looking cover, which shows the moon's glowing reflection on an astronaut's helmet, to the lifelike portraits of the astronauts in pastels, watercolor, colored pencil, and airbrush. The text emphasizes the short amount of time it took for the program to succeed, from the first ill-fated mission in January, 1967, to Apollo 11 in July, 1969, that carried two men to the moon. VERDICT Truly out of this world. A must-buy for most poetry collections.--Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OHCopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.