How we got to the moon The people, technology, and daring feats of science behind humanity's greatest adventure

John Rocco

Book - 2020

"This beautifully illustrated, oversized guide to the people and technology of the moon landing by award-winning author/illustrator John Rocco is a must-have for space fans, classrooms, and tech geeks"--

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Bookmobile Children's Show me where

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Children's Room Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Bookmobile Children's j629.45/Rocco Checked In
Children's Room j629.45/Rocco Checked In
Informational works
New York : Crown Books for Young Readers 2020
First edition
Physical Description
256 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 8-12
Grades 7-9
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
John Rocco (author)
  • A race to the moon
  • Designing a moon rocket
  • Building a launch vehicle
  • Building a spacecraft
  • Staying alive in space
  • Support on the ground
  • We choose to go to the moon.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Books about the moon landing abound, but there's nothing as masterful as this gorgeously and heavily illustrated account by Caldecott Honor-winner Rocco. Beginning with background knowledge on the Space Race and NASA's mission to send a man to the moon, Rocco draws readers in with present-tense narration and information chunked into digestible parts, allowing better accessibility and natural stopping places to absorb the detailed descriptions. While the next chapters focus on the function and design of each section of the Saturn V rocket, they also spotlight potential problems and solutions. Visuals, infographics, and a few interspersed experiments help explain the science and engineering at work. Support is also needed on the ground, and another chapter relates the meticulous construction of such areas as the launch complex, as well as astronaut training. The final chapter, and the pièce de résistance, takes readers from launch day to the moon landing to Apollo 11's return to Earth, with dramatic, full-page illustrations and dialogue from the astronauts and Mission Control. Throughout the chapters, Rocco recognizes some of the 400,000-plus individuals it took to put 3 men on the moon. Acknowledging the predominance of white men at the time, he also profiles numerous ground-breaking women, like African American human computer Katherine Johnson. A triumphant undertaking that places readers in the historic moment. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This expansive illustrated history of the Apollo space program delves ambitiously into the collective efforts and engineering feats required to send the first astronauts to the moon. In David Macaulay-esque style, pages brim with labeled diagrams, close-ups, and cutaways showcasing myriad technologies, including the inner workings of a rocket engine and the intricacies of spacesuit design. The book's seven sections profile many lesser-known scientists, engineers, technicians, and seamstresses who comprised a workforce 400,000 strong. Scientific principles also get full billing, often accompanied by simple experiments easily conducted at home. Using realistic colorized drawings—many replicated from archival documents and photos—Rocco (Big Machines) maintains a consistent, accessible aesthetic throughout, while present-tense narration creates an exigent tone. In a culminating chapter about the Apollo 11 mission, for example, everyone involved "hop and pray that the parts they built, the stitches they sewed, and the programs they wrote and wove will all work perfectly." This paean to ingenuity and collaboration, which also functions as a rocket science primer, is nothing short of stellar. Research notes, extensive source lists, a further reading list, acronyms, and an index conclude. Ages 10–up. (Oct.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5 Up—This illustrated nonfiction book depicts each step of the scientific and engineering journey that facilitated the moon landing. The history of the Apollo program takes a back seat to the explanations of various rocket science concepts. This is often presented in a problem-and-solution format, which adds a narrative aspect to the otherwise technical texts. The hand-drawn illustrations move from portraits to technical drawings with remarkable ease. Every page provides graphic features, including illustrations or callout boxes. Many graphics-heavy nonfiction books can be overwhelming, but this work's aesthetic is classic and coordinated. The stories of the people and their process are given as much weight as the many diagrams and engineering marvels. Several of the collage illustrations and individual profiles show the people of color and women who helped with the NASA program while acknowledging the overall lack of diversity and problems within both the time period and institution. There are a lot of books about the Apollo program, but this one offers many unique elements that make it a good addition to a collection. VERDICT A gorgeously illustrated nonfiction book about the Apollo program and the space race that does its best to highlight diversity and the human story but focuses primarily on engineering. An engaging second-level purchase for medium and larger libraries.—Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage P.L., AK Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • YALSA EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FINALIST • A ROBERT F. SIBERT HONOR BOOKThis beautifully illustrated, oversized guide to the people and technology of the moon landing by award-winning author/illustrator John Rocco (illustrator of the Percy Jackson series) is a must-have for space fans, classrooms, and tech geeks.Everyone knows of Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on the moon. But what did it really take to get us there? The Moon landing is one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. This exquisitely researched and illustrated book tells the stories of the 400,000 unsung heroes--the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers--and their innovations and life-changing technological leaps forward that allowed NASA to achieve this unparalleled accomplishment.From the shocking launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik to the triumphant splashdown of Apollo 11, Caldecott Honor winner John Rocco answers every possible question about this world-altering mission. Each challenging step in the space race is revealed, examined, and displayed through stunning diagrams, experiments, moments of crisis, and unforgettable human stories.Explorers of all ages will want to pore over every page in this comprehensive chronicle detailing the grandest human adventure of all time!