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Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon Hardcover – May 28, 2009


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Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon + Voices from the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences + A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1150L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (May 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670011568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011568
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5–8—Along with being based at least as much on personal interviews as on documentary and other sources, this album-sized history of the Apollo missions is also set apart by its unique illustrations. A former astronaut who walked on the Moon as part of the Apollo 12 crew, Bean has been for many years a full-time fine artist. He incorporates into moonscapes, spacecraft, and suited-up astronauts done over the course of his artistic career not only an unusually personal perspective, but also actual bits of moon dust, used mission patches, and other well-traveled memorabilia. He also provides illuminating, sometimes eloquent commentary in captions and a closing statement. Though the authors present an uncomplicated version of events with almost no discussion of the exclusion of women from the astronaut corps, for instance, and quoting Neil Armstrong's famous line as "one small step for a man" rather than what he actually said, they do tuck in memorable anecdotes (to the question "What's the most beautiful thing you saw in space?" an astronaut replies, "Urine dump at sunset"). They effectively highlight the Apollo program's magnificent achievements, as well as its moments of tension and tragedy. Supplemented with an admixture of photos and labeled diagrams, the large-scale art adds a dazzling visual element to this grand commemoration.—John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As we move away from the twentieth century, the shining moment of the first moon landing seems to grow brighter. Placing that event within the context of the whole Apollo program, this handsome, large-format book spotlights 12 significant missions, from Apollo 1, with its fatal cockpit fire, to Apollo 17, with its sweet success and bittersweet awareness that the program was ending. Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon (1994), has extensively researched the Apollo program and conducted hundreds of related interviews, including 28 with former Apollo astronauts. Beyond a wealth of pertinent anecdotes, this background knowledge brings a subtle understanding of complex decisions and human emotions at pivotal moments as well as a broad perspective as the Apollo missions moved gradually toward their goals. Informative, full-page sidebars focus on topics such as the work of the Mission Control teams and the early fear of “moon germs.” NASA photos provide excellent color illustrations of the Apollo missions. More unexpected and personal are the many stunning paintings and insightful captions by Alan Bean, who walked on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission. Lists of recommended books, films, and Internet sites are appended. A beautiful, insightful, and highly readable presentation of the Apollo missions. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is set out beautifully and the illustrations are superb.
Margaret A. Turnbull
As easy and rewarding to read as a story, older students will find it satiating.
Deborah Sandford
Al Bean does promethean work through pigments, sharing the Apollo fire.
Douglas M. Keenan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Marianne Dyson on June 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Andrew Chaikin and Alan Bean are a powerful team for introducing the Apollo program to a new generation. Few authors can compete with Andrew Chaikin when it comes to telling the stories of Apollo, and Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean is the only artist who can paint the Moon with the passion of personal experience.

The Bean artwork and captions are sufficient to "promote" this book to coffee-table status, and the expertly-crafted text is also consistent with a book that any adult could happily browse and digest while waiting for an appointment in a swanky office.

My entire review is posted on the National Space Society (nss.org) Web site, but the bottom line is: Chaikin and Bean have created something that is more like a cherished family album or an artist's portfolio than a children's book. Space enthusiasts of all ages would do well to add this one to their personal collections.
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Format: Hardcover
The Russians and the Americans were like two brothers, always trying to outdo the other and come in first. At times, in their race to space, the Russians would pull ahead, only to have the Americans hot on their heels. On April 12, 1961 "Americans once again felt the sting of being second best" when Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth via his spaceship, Vostok. Projects Mercury and Gemini set the stage for the success of Project Apollo, but there were lists of things that had to be accomplished and the real race was on.

Gus Grissom, one of three astronauts slated to be on the "first manned Apollo flight," Apollo One, was becoming more and more frustrated with the "communication problems" the project was having. "How are we going to get to the moon if we can't talk between two buildings?" He had a point there. This ill-fated mission never got off the ground when a disastrous fire on the launchpad took the lives of the crew in a horrifying manner. The next five missions were unpiloted and everyone was cautious. Even the Russians lost Vladimir Komarov. Were we really ready to tempt fate and head to the moon?

The race was now on in earnest. This book covers each manned Apollo mission in a vibrant, thrilling manner touching on history while including the viewpoints as many people involved in the project as possible. The emotional cast of the book ranges from heartbreak to humor to ecstasy. In the front of the book there is an illustration and overview of the Apollo spacecraft. Early on there is a two-page spread on both the Mercury and Gemini Missions outlining the crew, the duration of the flight and their achievements.

This book is absolutely marvelous! The stunning full color art work by former Apollo 12 lunar module pilot, Alan Bean, will blow you away.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sara Howard VINE VOICE on August 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is very interesting as is all of the Apollo books. Andrew Chalkin is an excellent author. This is the nail-biting account of the trouble with communications between Houston and the Command Modules with every mission. When Apollo 8 launched, it was a good time to test out communications. Communications were eventually sorted out and we have the triumph of Apollo 11. There is some wonderful information here.

Alan Bean is a wonderful artist and his paintings are featured in this book. I already own his leather and gold bound book.

I know more than the usual reader. I am a very rare woman aerospace engineer on the Saturn V. I worked on the first stage, the S-IC.
I know people. :) I recently sent out a query to any Apollo Astronaut. "How was the ride on my beloved Saturn V?"
The answer came back from Alan Bean. "TERRIFYING!" Tee Hee
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Margaret A. Turnbull on December 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is extremely well done, a bit different from the usual - it covers all Apollo flights from One to Seventeen. It is set out beautifully and the illustrations are superb. My grandson is going to be thrilled with this for Christmas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. McMullen on February 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfectly laid out for enjoyment and understanding. A nice quick overview of each of the manned Apollo missions. It includes original paintings by astronaut Al Bean (the fourth man on the moon).

Very good book for space race buffs and those who don't yet appreciate the magnificent accomplishments and heroic men of this era of U.S. history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By montyinfl on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I got this book for my 9 year old son after we recently visited the Kennedy Space Center and I wanted to keep the excitement going. He really loves it and read it in less than one week. It is well written, easily understood and includes lots of interesting facts about space travel in general (one page dedicated to "How Astronauts go to the bathroom in space" was of the utmost interest to him!) The book is laid out in short chapters about each Apollo mission, so you can read one or two, then put it down and pick it up later to continue. I would read it after he went to bed because I was interested in finding out more details about the Apollo missions, which happened when I was a very small child. The artwork by former astronaut Andy Bean is really great, too, - he has a very unique perspective, since he was in space, and he is a good artist. We borrowed the book from the library, but loved it so much we bought one to keep. I thoroughly recommend for any child or adult interested in learning more about the Apollo program and space.
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