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Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight Hardcover – June 4, 2019
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"An engaging and intelligent read." -- Paste Magazine
"Accessible to young adults but enjoyable for readers of all ages, Moonbound educates while it entertains." -- Science
About the Author
- Publisher : Hill and Wang; Illustrated edition (June 4, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0374212457
- ISBN-13 : 978-0374212452
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.36 x 1.02 x 9.35 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I loved every page.
By Kimberly Luisi on June 16, 2019
I loved every page.
Fetter-Vorm’s new book is a smart, detailed exploration of how the dream of space travel has obsessed humanity over the eons while showing the steps it took to create the moon landing. His attention to detail is compelling and works well as an introduction to the history of space flight, spanning from Johannes Kepler to Jules Verne, from obscure Russian missile scientists to Verner Von Braun. In doing so, Fetter-Vorm touches on some of the major sociological events in which these men were involved.
Importantly, Fetter-Vorm also takes side trips to highlight the work women and African-Americans contributed to the exploration of space, especially during the time NASA was a key part of the space program. He delivers interesting anecdotes and provides important context to explain the racial and gender divides of the 1960s which help exclude women and non-whites from the space program. For instance, Fetter-Vorm depicts the fact of how NASA mainly chose white scientists because their facilities were in the South. He also tells a fascinating story about how women were hired as “computers”, literally people who computed numbers based on scientific research. In doing so, Fetter-Vorm introduces readers to Margaret Hamilton, who wrote all the computer code used pilot the space vehicles.
The author also takes pains to include the stories of the Russian space program in with the American stories, a nice touch which adds an important element to the tale. One of my favorite aspects of this book was when Fetter-Vorm shows how American Cold War propaganda deliberately ignored the considerable and impressive achievements of the Russians in space.
Juxtaposed with all this fascinating history is a step-by-step depiction of the moon landing. Rendered in color rather than in the single-color tones of the historical parts of the book, these sequences seem to pop from the page in technicolor brightness and absolute joy. If the historical parts of the book provide the brains of this story, the sequences about the moon landing provide its heart. Readers can practically see the exhilaration on the faces of the astronauts as they orbit then land on the moon, and we are swept along with that excitement.
Fetter-Vorm’s art and coloring are perfect for a book of this type, providing just the right amount of detail to highlight the events but leaving the reader to fill in some of the gaps. For instance, he appropriately draws the dark side of the moon as a completely black mystery, and many of his historical scenes eschew backgrounds in order to keep focus on the man story.
Moonbound is a historical drama which provides an excellent exploration and introduction to the American space program.
Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight is not the first book by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm that I have read and enjoyed. As with each of the previous, this book is well-researched, historically valuable, and filled with illustrations that enhance the text.
In this book, we learn the history of the moon landing, starting years back with the beginnings of astronomy and studies and beliefs about the moon, through early rocket science and the war years, all the way to the successful Apollo 11 landing and safe return home.
The story is told using multiple voices, which I especially appreciate. While the Apollo project history is frequently shown and told through the voice of participants, such as famous astronauts, there is also a narrator for historic contextual moments and scenes. Moving the story along through a series of vignettes and flashbacks is both interesting and also allows important background knowledge to be brought in at just the right moment for it to have its greatest impact.
As with all of his work that I have reviewed, Fetter-Vorm’s artwork is splendid, appropriate to the moment, and beneficial. I especially liked the way he moves between color and grey scale images for impact when showing scenes of “present moments” passing through the Apollo 11 developments and contextual history.
This is one worth picking up for anyone even slightly interested in space.
This book is exquisite, and I can't even imagine how many hours of labor went into creating it. The research, art, and writing are all amazing, and I often slowed down to reread especially beautiful sentences. This book captures both the dream and the reality of spaceflight, and it is an informative and emotional journey. If you can only read one of the new moon-landing books out on the market, read this one.
Top reviews from other countries
Loved the illustration!