Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
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Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
Age Range
10+
Release Date
June 26, 2006
ISBN
0618507574
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Here is a rare perspective on a story we only thought we knew. For Apollo 11, the first moon landing, is a story that belongs to many, not just the few and famous. It belongs to the seamstress who put together twenty-two layers of fabric for each space suit. To the engineers who created a special heat shield to protect the capsule during its fiery reentry. It belongs to the flight directors, camera designers, software experts, suit testers, telescope crew, aerospace technicians, photo developers, engineers, and navigators. Gathering direct quotes from some of these folks who worked behind the scenes, Catherine Thimmesh reveals their very human worries and concerns. Culling NASA transcripts, national archives, and stunning NASA photos from Apollo 11, she captures not only the sheer magnitude of this feat but also the dedication, ingenuity, and perseverance of the greatest team ever—the team that worked to first put man on that great gray rock in the sky.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

An inspiring look at the Apollo 11 Mission
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
0.0
Learning Value 
 
0.0
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh is quite possibly the most inspiring books I have read in ages. Its also the first of my reviews on the Cybils Non-Fiction nominees (youll be seeing a lot of those over the next few weeks, since Im one of the judges/reviewers).

Ill admit right off the bat that Im probably a bit partial to this book because I cut my (reading) teeth on the grandmasters of science fiction (Heinlein, Asimov, Haldeman, etc. etc.) and I have a soft spot for space exploration. That said, I challenge any American scratch that any person to read this little book and not feel a swell of pride at what we humans can accomplish when we put our minds to it.

There are four criteria to look at for Cybil consideration: the writing, kid/adult appeal, innovation, and whether or not the book speaks to you as a reader. I think Team Moon hits every nail on the head.

Catherine Thimmeshs prose if very accessible and readable, at both a childs level and at an adults. Almost conversational at times, each section includes some type of cliffhanger or tense situation that keeps readers turning the pages to find out what happens next, even when the actual outcome (i.e. the successful landing and return of Apollo 11) is known.

The photo illustrations also bring the story to life; especially the idea of how so many people had a hand in the mission. Im as guilty as the next person before reading this book, I couldnt have named the third astronaut (Michael Collins) on the mission, while I could have readily told you all about Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. Much less all the other thousands of people involved&while Thimmesh doesnt name them all (the book isnt big enough for that!), she provides far better representative coverage than any book Ive seen on the topic.

Format-wise, the side notes and even the photo captions added to the text in a nice way, serving to help bring the reader in, rather than distancing them (as many asides often do, by breaking the reader out of the story). Each section is short enough for table-top browsing (think coffee table book) or for a child with a short attention span. For readers as inspired as I was, the back of the book contains recommendations for further exploration, and even a brief description of all the other Apollo missions. Where was this book when I was in school? Even though this all happened years ago, reading about it now has made me more excited about the space program than Ive ever been.

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this one and I think you will be too. Its educational without being stuffy and interesting without being dorky. Highly recommended for ages 10 and up and space buffs of any age.
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