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Reaching for the Moon Paperback – May 20, 2008

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The Big Box of Bright and Early Board Books About Me
The Big Box of Bright and Early Board Books About Me
Adapted for babies and toddlers from Dr. Seuss's Bright and Early book line, each of these books is filled with rhymes and clear, colorful illustrations. See more | More Seuss
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 1-4–A readable autobiography by the Apollo 11 astronaut who was the second man to walk on the Moon. Aldrin recounts episodes in his life that influenced his choice to become part of the space program. He briefly describes how he got his nickname and incidents from his childhood; his first airplane ride; his time at West Point and as an Air Force pilot; joining NASA; and his missions in the Gemini and Apollo programs, including the lunar landing. Although he strains at times to make a connection between his experiences and his character (e.g., riding his bike alone across the George Washington Bridge as evidence of his ability to do things himself), overall, the telling is entertaining and informative. A chronology of milestones in the history of flight is appended. Excellent, realistic paintings help describe the events mentioned in the text. Those depicting the space flights are particularly dramatic. Similar in style to Ann Turner's Abe Lincoln Remembers (HarperCollins, 2001), also illustrated by Minor, this book should be considered a first purchase.–Jeffrey A. French, Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, Willowick, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. In this picture book, Aldrin, the second man to step foot on the moon, relates the life events that led him to the space program and his assignment on Apollo 11. In straightforward language, he recounts his boyhood, college at West Point, early flight training, and admission to the space program. Periodically, the facts of Aldrin's life are supplemented by some unexpected details that give a sense of what space travel feels like. He says, for example, that the liftoff of the powerful Saturn V rockets was so gentle "that if I had not been looking at the instruments, I would never have known we were on our way." He ends by connecting his boyhood interest in rock collecting with his primary activity while on the moon: picking up rocks. Minor's colorful and precisely rendered illustrations help this effort really take off, especially in the images of Aldrin's space journeys. A brief chronology, which blends events in the history of flight and space exploration with a few events of Aldrin's life, rounds out this solid title. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060554479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060554477
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Linda A. Morris on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Today, I was priviledged to read, for the first time, the very autographed copy of this book presented to my school library this past Friday from the astronaut himself. Dr. Aldrin is the school namesake and school advocate who visits us from time to time to show his support.

For the past several years, my students have gone away from the library disappointed because I didn't have any books written at the elementary level by Buzz Aldrin. No more! Coupled with the outstanding illustrations by Wendell Minor, this personal account of Aldrin from his childhood years to the preparation and completion of that infamous voyage is certainly worth the wait. The informative narrative is written at a level that reaches its target audience of children at elementary school age. Aldrin's mantra is that, if you believe in something strongly enough, and you are willing to dedicate yourself to achieving that goal, then, anything is possible. In this book he effectively conveys this message to the young reader.

My special thanks to Mr. Minor for convincing Dr. Aldrin to leave us this special legacy. Of the two first astonauts to walk on the moon, he is the only one to leave his story to children. I am so grateful that he has chosen to do so.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Walter Mitty on January 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the greatest joys of this parenthood has been watching my four-year-old daughter come to understand that this is a true story, that men actually traveled to the moon and walked on its surface. Even though the moon landings were something I grew up with, the story grows more powerful with each retelling. It is one of her favorites and one of mine as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Davis on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We Love This Book ! With the space shuttle being on the news so much, my 4 year old daughter became interested in space. We got this book for her and now she wants us to read it every night.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. was the second man to walk on the moon when he followed Neil Armstrong on July 16, 1969, while Michael Collins circled the moon in the Apollo 11 spacecraft. In "Reaching for the Moon," Aldrin tells the story of his life that led up to walking on the moon, taking key episodes from his life and presenting them as life lessons to his young readers, such as sinking in a lake because he would not let go of a bucket of rocks he had collected ("I knew that if something was important to you, you had to hold on"). Aldrin also shows how various things in his life foreshadowed what he would do on the moon (e.g., his mother's maiden name was Moon and his first airplane flight was in a small plane painted to look like an eagle).

The book follows Aldrin from his childhood and playing sports in school to graduating from West Point and joining the Air Force. After flying combat missions in the Korean War, Aldrin applied to the astronaut program and was not accepted until the second time he tried. The number two also comes up when Aldrin's first space flight was a Gemini mission. The description of the Apollo 11 mission is quite straightforward and Aldrin emphasizes the importance of what they were doing without every talking about how it came to be that he was the second man on the moon instead of the first (the reasoning was actually quite simple: Armstrong was a civilian, Aldrin was still in the military, and the U.S. government did not want a soldier to be the first person on the moon). Everybody remembers Armstrong's first words on the moon, but Aldrin recalls his own apt description of the moon as "Magnificent desolation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pellerine on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Good narrative of Buzz and I do see the views shared buy the rating of 1 that this is a "me, me me" book, but this may interestingly a strength of the book for young readers (and writers) as they can read "I" a thousand times again - and for very young kids they will not pick up on this egocentricness. I think it is a great read for children due to the overuse of "I" - in how this will help a child develop linguistically, but then as they get older yes we need to be conscious and curve them away.

I do not have a background in aerospace and see the read as a good one - and would probably not recommend this for a 1 year old. I think it is aimed at a crowd slightly older than that (say starting at 4-6 and upwards to 8-10) - not that I have anything against exposing young minds to interesting ideas early on.

If your child is an beginning reader and has an interest in space, or adventure, give it a go. If you are a teacher attempting to teach narrative writing to young children - give it a go.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's good. I like it. My four year old daughter has sat through a couple of readings already and it seems to hold her attention. It's basically a bio on Buzz Aldrin. It ends with his 1969 moonwalk with Neil Armstrong. He salutes the American flag for the photo op. The book outlines his goal to becoming an astronaut, how he got there through sports, determination, attending West Point, his military career ( not my thing ) and university education. He fails his first attempt at joining the astronaut program but tries again, and is accepted. It's a brilliant message on tenacity. Aldrin is a shameless self-promoter, and there is nothing wrong with it. It's 60s Americana in all its glory. The art is good, but a bit retro. The pace is pretty good. It feels a bit shorter and leaner than his other children's book on Mars. Hope to keep reading this one to the kids for a while. If your little ones are into space and astronauts get it. I recommend it. Four stars.
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