First on the Moon (An I Was There Book)

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9780786804894: First on the Moon (An I Was There Book)

Offers young readers a detailed story of man's first walk on the moon through information on the landing itself and from accounts of family members and those on earth who witnessed the event as it happened.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-Hehner begins her story on July 16, 1969, as the Saturn V rocket that would propel Apollo 11 toward its target stands on the launchpad at Cape Kennedy. She fills in some background by describing a tour of the facility that Buzz Aldrin gave his family six weeks earlier, focusing especially on Aldrin's 11-year-old daughter, Jan. The author then returns to the launchpad, resuming the countdown and follows the three astronauts on their historic mission, ending with the coast-to-coast ticker-tape parades on August 13, 1969. A brief epilogue sketches in a few highlights of later lunar flights; a time line of "Milestones in Space" and a brief glossary complete the book. In describing the mission, Hehner frequently returns to the Aldrin family, telling what they were doing and thinking during those long days. The informative and entertaining text is illustrated with an abundance of full-color and black-and-white photographs as well as paintings. Occasional sidebars offer additional information on the Saturn V rocket, space meals, the lunar module, and reentry. Michael Cole's Apollo 11 (Enslow, 1995) is comparable in scope, using fewer pictures and providing a bit more background on the three astronauts. Cole also footnoted quotations used in his text, something Hehner neglected to do. Nonetheless, First on the Moon will be useful for reports; pertinent information is clearly presented and easily extracted. The oversized format and attractive layout will draw browsers, and those just looking for a readable space adventure will find it here.
Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

From the I Was There series, this book describes the NASA mission that culminated in a walk on the moon. From the outset, the focus is split between astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, and Aldrin's daughter Jan, who watched the events on television. The attempt to include Jan's point of view brings little to the narrative, since children need no intermediary to help them relate to the story of Apollo 11. Indeed, when the text shifts from Jan watching the television set in her living room to events in space, the pace quickens, and the story becomes much more absorbing. Similarly, the idealized paintings of Jan and her family are much less effective than photographs of the family and those of the astronauts, their equipment, and even mission control. Many excellent photos and diagrams illustrate the main story. Timelines, a glossary, and a brief bibliography are appended. Carolyn Phelan

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Hehner, Barbara
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