This July marks the 50th anniversary of the historic first walk on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Staying back in the command module was the third astronaut, Michael Collins. What better way to educate a young generation born in this century with these two titles from Sleeping Bear Press.
THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON is an illustrated look at the mission from blastoff to the splashdown celebrating their return to Earth. The drawings are colorful and bold, accompanied by text in verse and 3-5 lines of informational text. The final two pages display a half dozen photos with a more detailed description of Where are Eagle and Columbia now? and More About the Mission and the Moon.
This would be a great starter book for any young reader who knows little about this time in history. It will leave in them a reality of how great this accomplishment turned out.
MARTY’S MISSION is fictionalized account of a real event that occurred as the astronauts were returning to Earth. A ten-year-old boy plays an important role to ensure their safe return. Marty’s family live on Guam where his father manages the NASA Tracking Station. During the final hours of Apollo 11’s mission something goes wrong with the station’s antenna. It’s up to Marty to make the necessary adjustment so that communication can be restored to bring the craft home.
The tale is told atop full panels of beautifully drawn colored pictures. It’s a compelling story with the excitement of the time transferred to readers. The Author’s Note concludes the book with a look back at the whys and hows of the mission.
Both of the books are perfect to share in the classroom or to surprise your own budding astronaut with copies of their own. The moon walk’s fiftieth anniversary (July 2O, 2019) would be a perfect time to unwrap these gifts.