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Reaching for the Moon Paperback – May 20, 2008
Frequently Bought Together
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 the Library Binding edition.
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 the Library Binding edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good kids book about the lunar missions. If your children like space this is for them.Published 14 months ago by Kevin M.
I thought this book was wonderful. The story and illustrations were great for third graders. Aldrin stresses some very important messages. Glad to add this book to my collectionPublished on October 23, 2014 by Kim Ellis
We read this book in our homeschool to end our year of U.S. history. I love this book and I can say out of all the books we've read this year, this is on the top of my list to... Read morePublished on May 22, 2014 by Antonia Cheek
His book is inspiring because a man that his dad was not with him for months and he still conquer his dreams. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013
but that is what I got. This is a truly good read. Thank you, Buzz Aldrin.