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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)) Hardcover – April 7, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–5—Large in trim size as well as topic, this stirring account retraces Apollo 11's historic mission in brief but precise detail, and also brilliantly captures the mighty scope and drama of the achievement. Rendered in delicate lines and subtly modulated watercolors, the eye-filling illustrations allow viewers to follow the three astronauts as they lumber aboard their spacecraft for the blastoff and ensuing weeklong journey ("…there's no fresh air outside the window;/after a week this small home will not smell so good./This is not why anyone/wants to be an astronaut"). They split up so that two can make their famous sortie, and then reunite for the return to "the good and lonely Earth,/glowing in the sky." Floca enhances his brief, poetic main text with an opening spread that illustrates each component of Apollo 11, and a lucid closing summary of the entire Apollo program that, among other enlightening facts, includes a comment from Neil Armstrong about what he said versus what he meant to say when he stepped onto the lunar surface. Consider this commemoration of the first Moon landing's 40th anniversary as a spectacular alternative for younger readers to Catherine Thimmesh's Team Moon (Houghton, 2006).—John Peters, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Forty years after NASA’s Apollo 11 mission first landed astronauts on the moon, this striking nonfiction picture book takes young readers along for the ride. The moon shines down on Earth, where three men don spacesuits, climb into Columbia, and wait for liftoff. On a nearby beach, people gather to watch the rocket blast the astronauts into space. The astronauts fly to the moon, circle it, land on it, walk on its surface, and see “the good and lonely Earth, glowing in the sky.” After flying back to the orbiter, they return to Earth and splash down, “home at last.” An appended note discusses the mission in greater detail. Written with quiet dignity and a minimum of fuss, the main text is beautifully illustrated with line-and-wash artwork that provides human interest, technological details, and some visually stunning scenes. The book’s large format offers plenty of scope for double-page illustrations, and Floca makes the most of it, using the sequential nature of picture books to set up the more dramatic scenes and give them human context. The moving image of Earth seen from the moon, for instance, is preceded by a picture of a lone astronaut looking up. A handsome, intelligent book with a jacket that’s well-nigh irresistible. Grades K-3. --Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 5
  • Lexile Measure: AD990L (What's this?)
  • Series: Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books; First Edition edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141695046X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416950462
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Floca's picture books include "Locomotive," winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, and a New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2013 selection; "Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11," also a Sibert Honor Book and New York Times Best Illustrated Book; "Lightship," a Sibert Honor Book; and "The Racecar Alphabet" and "Five Trucks." Brian is also the illustrator of Avi's popular Poppy Stories, Kate Messner's three Marty McGuire novels, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's "Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring" -- a Sibert Honor Book and winner of the Orbis Pictus Award -- and Lynne Cox's just published "Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas." You can visit him online at BrianFloca.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I consider myself a person of at least average intelligence. I know how to hold down a job. To feed and clothe myself. And when it comes to historical events I tend to think that I know most of the pertinent details. Take the original moon landing of Apollo 11 as one such example. Sure, I knew that the folks on the ship were "Buzz" Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong. I knew it was a flight filled with close calls and near catastrophes (thank YOU Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh!). And I knew those guys got back. Slap your hands together, end of story. But I guess... I dunno. I hate to admit this but I don't think I ever really had a great visual sense of how it all worked. Should I? Is that required of every fine upstanding American citizen? Maybe not, but how can you really get a sense of the moon landing if you don't know what it looked like? To the rescue comes Brian Floca with Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. Essentially Brian has written a book that works for every human being between the ages of 4 to 104 (sorry, 105-year-olds). Poetic, scientifically accurate, interesting, mesmerizing, you name it. The man has penned a little old masterpiece here, just in time for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. You've lots of space flight picture books to choose from this year, but if I had to pick just one for my children's library shelves, it would be this. A masterpiece of innovation (and the moon landing's not to shabby either).

"We choose to go to the Moon," said President Kennedy. So to the moon we went. With simple text, Brian Floca shows us the steps leading up to that first walk. Equipment is secured. The three astronauts have said goodbye.
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Format: Hardcover
The astronauts have practiced their roles many times as has everyone who had anything to do with Apollo 11. In Launch Control near the rocket in sunny Florida they are ready. In Mission Control all the way over in Houston they are ready. Everyone around the world is watching. People are glued to their television sets anxiously awaiting liftoff. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin are going to take "their two small spaceships," the Columbia and Eagle to the moon and back. 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... 7 ...

"... high above
there is the Earth,
rushing oceans, racing clouds,
swaying fields and forests.
Family, friends, and strangers,
everyone you've ever known,
everyone you might--
the good and lonely Earth,
glowing in the sky."

This is the BEST book on the flight of Apollo 11 I've seen for this age group. The flowing text and the stunning art work mesh perfectly to generate the mood of the flight and that of the generation it occurred in. For example, when the mood is quiet, the text is light, set against a white background and the art work is small and the atmosphere mellow. When the story gets exciting or busy both the text and art work explode with excitement. LIFTOFF! The front end pages are fully illustrated with everything from the rollout to the Saturn Launch Vehicle and the Apollo Spacecraft! In the back is more information on this story. Be prepared for a lot of exiting reading with this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received it tonight and read it to my 4-year-old son, who interrupted several times per page to ask questions. ("How did people on Earth know the astronauts had landed?") The front endsheet has technical information and drawings. The back endsheet has lots of prose for the grown-ups to fill in their history. The pages in between are works of art.
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Format: Hardcover
If you were to ask anyone who lived during the 1940's, they would be able to tell you exactly what they were doing the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. If you were to ask anyone who lived during the 1960's, they would be able to give you specific details of what their day was like when John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated. Some moments in history are so significant, their memory and any memories associated with them, remain long after they occur. For my generation, I have a feeling 9/11 will be such a memory. I was in my dorm room sound asleep, until a friend from across the hallway burst through the door and ordered me to turn on the television. I remember campus wide prayer groups and people walking around in a daze.

MOONSHOT by Brian Floca depicts such an event. It tells the story of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the men who were the first to step foot on the moon. Told through verse and supported with incredible illustrations, MOONSHOT begins by introducing the reader to the astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. The story moves quickly through the launching of the rocket, to eventually show the astronauts' time spent in space and on the moon, and ends with their safe return home.

MOONSHOT is a work of art. The illustrations are simply amazing. Floca's attention to detail puts the reader in the shoes of not only the astronauts that went on this mission, but the people of the country at that time, watching this incredible event unfold. The inside cover is a series of illustrations that label the rocket ship and the various stages involved in the deployment of the rocket.
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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover))
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