Mission to the Moon

cover image for Mission to the MoonDyer, A. (2009) Mission to the Moon.  New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

 

Review:

 

[Note:  Before I begin, I should warn you that I grew up going to star parties with my dad and his astronomy students, and so I am inclined to both love anything about space and be nitpicky when it comes to scientific accuracy.]

Mission to the Moon is an extremely exhaustive account of the US Apollo Missions to the moon, especially for a book meant for tweens.  It’s laid out mostly chronologically, starting with the requisite “what ancient civilizations thought,” moving on to the first rockets and the beginning of the space race, and then spending the bulk of the book discussing the Apollo missions, shuttles, and crew in detail.  It’s great for reluctant readers because it’s set up much like a DK eyewitness book would be – a main paragraph in large font and then several progressively smaller paragraphs and captions – and, of course, lots of photos.  While the layout of each page was always dynamic, the main paragraph was almost always in the top left corner, which I thought lent a nice readability and predictability to a book whose information might otherwise be overwhelming.  Also, unlike many readable non-fiction books for tweens, this title gets into enough detail to also be a great resource for research papers.

 

I loved this book.  It’s totally going on my list of books to tell my dad about.  It not only has lots of information and tons of great, eye-catching photos, it does a great job of explaining to tweens why sending an astronaut to the moon was so incredibly important and inspiring at the time.  It also provides an accurate and fair when listing who did what first, which is pretty rare, and ends on a nice note about possible future missions to the moon and mars – inspiring tweens who may themselves be interested in becoming astronauts one day.
The only part that could have been better was the dvd.  The footage is great – it looks like something Kevin Arnold would have watched in class – but it’s a little long and dry to keep most tweens interest.

 

Best for ages 8-14

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