The book is divided into eleven chapters with a glossary and timeline. Each chapter has a descriptor and also a quote that helps focus the chapter (for example, Chapter One: The Space Race – Getting to the Moon – “One of the Great Adventures of our Time”). These quotes are also interspersed throughout the text and within each chapter which really raises the magnitude of the events. It is written not so much as a factual book, although it is all there, but brings the human side of the missions to the fore. The story is important here, whether incredible, horrific, hilarious or emotive. “When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the surface of the moon, I cried.”
We are involved in the stories of the astronauts and their adventures from the beginning. Small details, the link between the astronauts and Mission Control, bravery, intelligence, survival and engineering are told through each chapter, each of which is a different mission.
The book is published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. It answers all those ‘why?’ questions children ask about such huge subjects such as the world, the universe, space etc. More than that it involves the reader in each mission to such an extent that one almost feels they can touch the dust on the moon, see the darkness that envelopes it and wear the spacesuit to explore it. David Long has done a great job in writing the book in different voices, keeping us engrossed and wanting to turn the page whilst Sam Kalda’s illustrations bring each and every mission into our understanding, we really feel as though we are there.
This is an amazing book that I couldn’t put down; every turn of the page held my interest. A fabulous read!
Review by Dr Karenanne Knight