rating: 5 of 5 starsThis has to be the coolest book I have read in a long time. Last year I thought I had hit space-exploration gold with Team Moon: How 400 000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon, but Mission to the Moon puts Team Moon to shame.
The book itself is a feast for the eyes. Not only is it a collection of the choicest NASA archival photos, but it tells a great story as well. It balances history with modern science, moon-myth with lunar technology. The past and the future collide to explain how the lunar program has developed and where it is going in the years to come. It's like reading an encyclopedia with all the facts but still holds the excitement of going to Cape Canaveral and seeing the American space program in action.
But the jewel of this book is the DVD it comes with. It splices together old NASA reels along with some period documentaries. While it shows Neil Armstrong's famous first steps, it also talks about lift-off, the equipment left behind, splash-down and debriefings. The extras on the DVD go on to document the Apollo 13 disaster (or miracle), astronaut training from the beginning to the present, Earth Rise and some goofy footage of the Apollo 11 crew.
You don't have to be a space nerd to love this book as it appeals to both the novice and the expert alike. If you like history, or if you like science, this book is a great interactive choice for middle-grade readers. And for parents, you could not ask for a better comprehensive product for your money--it is worth three times as much as Simon & Schuster is marketing it for.
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