Rocket to the Moon! (Big Ideas That Changed The World #1)

by Don Brown (Author)

Rocket to the Moon! (Big Ideas That Changed The World #1)

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" when the Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But it wasn't just one man who got us to the moon.

Rocket to the Moon! explores the people and technology that made the moon landing possible. Instead of examining one person's life, it focuses on the moon landing itself, showing the events leading up to it and how it changed the world. The book takes readers through the history of rocket building: from ancient Chinese rockets, to "bombs bursting in air" during the War of 1812, to Russia's Sputnik program, to the moon landing.

Beautifully illustrated and well-researched, this book is the perfect resource for curious readers and tomorrow's scientists. It includes a timeline of space travel, a bibliography, and an index.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A frank, often funny appreciation of our space program’s high-water mark.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 3-7--Brown's new graphic nonfiction series follows a "big idea" from conception to fruition. This first installment starts with early rocket science, details the Apollo 11 mission, and ends with Gene Cernan, the 12th and last (so far) Earthling to walk on the moon. Early 20th-century daredevil Rod Lawman narrates, providing commentary and keeping the tone light, like Nathan Hale in the "Hazardous Tale" series. Much of the dialogue is direct quotations, cited in the endnotes. Brown addresses information that's sometimes omitted from children's texts: only men were considered for the early astronaut programs, people and animals died in rocket tests and space flights, and Wernher von Braun forced concentration camp prisoners to build rockets for the Nazis before he surrendered to the Americans. Explosions feature in many of the dynamic illustrations, as rockets were just as likely to blow up as they were to take off, and readers will be amused by frank descriptions about dealing with bodily functions on early space missions. Back matter includes a time line of spaceflight and rockets and information on Rodman Law. VERDICT A must for youth graphic collections.--Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Launching the Big Ideas that Changed the World series, Brown's historical graphic novel is narrated by Rodman Law, a daredevil in 1913 New Jersey, who frames the story after describing his own feats of parachuting and attempts to fly a rocket. Law provides a history of the discoveries that would enable space travel, the space race, and the (sometimes tragic) experimental missions that paved the way for Apollo 11. In pen-and-ink panels, Brown depicts such moments as Apollo 8 circling the moon, Apollo 11's liftoff, and somewhat less heroic occurrences ("Get me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating in the air," says one Apollo 10 astronaut to another). Successive panels and spreads depict the Eagle's landing and Armstrong and Aldrin's first steps on the moon. Brown's visual storytelling offers humor, vibrancy, and a wealth of historical insight. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Don Brown

Don Brown is the author and illustrator of many highly praised picture-book biographies and histories for children, most recently, He Has Shot the President. He lives on Long Island, New York.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Harry N. Abrams
Publication date
March 20, 2019
Big Ideas That Changed the World
BISAC categories
JNF025210 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/20th Century
JNF051190 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | History of Science
JNF051010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Technology | Aeronautics, Astronautics & Space Science
JNF062020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | History
Library of Congress categories
Cartoons and comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Project Apollo (U.S.)
Space flight to the moon

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