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Godspeed, John Glenn Hardcover – October 1, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4–Hilliard follows up his Neil, Buzz, and Mike Go to the Moon (Boyds Mills, 2005) with another sketchy but heartfelt tribute to a space-program milestone. Combining brief, general overviews with details presented in smaller type on side panels, he traces Glenn's fascination with flight from childhood through World War II and the Korean conflict, and then describes NASA's fledgling missions, including that of the chimpanzee Ham, America's first space celebrity. He climaxes his account with Glenn's journey aboard Friendship 7 and closes with a quick look at the astronaut and politician's later career, including a mention of his 1998 return to space. The Earth visible through the capsule's view port is far too small, but the close-up scenes, rendered in thickly applied acrylics, capture a sense of the mission's drama and triumph. There are no leads to further resources, but readers who want to know more can consult Don Mitchell's Liftoff (National Geographic, 2006), another recent addition to an overflowing shelf of Glenn profiles.–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This picture-book biography focuses on astronaut John Glenn's remarkable descent to Earth in his Project Mercury capsule, Friendship 7. Glenn and his fellow NASA scientists suspected that the capsule's heat shield may have been damaged, and for several dramatic minutes, while communications were impossible, no one knew if Glenn was alive or dead. Then radio contact was reestablished, and the world learned that an American's first manned orbit of Earth was successful. Readers may need help putting some of the history and science into context, and Hilliard's acrylic illustrations are somewhat stiff in their rendering of people. Even so, the striking images of the powerful rocket's liftoff will capture kids, and sidebars on each page support the narrative with basic facts about Glenn and aeronautics. Overall, this is a competent account of a dramatic moment in the early days of the space program. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
It seemed only natural that in 1959 John Glenn was chosen, along with six other men, to form the Mercury Seven--men who would train with NASA to become astronauts. As they withstood the difficult training that they'd need before they could ever enter into space, NASA was busy sending animals, including Ham the chimpanzee, into orbit to test the body's ability to deal with weightlessness and other issues.
John Glenn's day finally came on February 20, 1962, when he boarded the Friendship 7 and was shot into space. After orbiting the Earth three times, he was forced to return due to a malfunction aboard his capsule. However, that first man-made orbit into space gave President John F. Kennedy the facts he needed to make a push for a man eventually landing on the Moon.
GODSPEED, JOHN GLENN is an excellent illustrated biography, perfect for a middle school library or classroom. For those students interested in space or history, this is a great book from which to gain knowledge of both.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
This book is a great biography of a very important man. This is the first biography book geared towards younger readers that I have encountered and I was very impressed by it. The beautiful illustrations draw the reader's interest and the story of John Glenn's life is written in a way that younger readers can understand it and will be interested in it. The sidebars include more technical information about how the shuttles work and the space program, which will appeal to older readers who are interested in space.