Monday, October 22, 2007

Genre 4 NonFiction: Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
1. Bibliography:
Thimmesh, Catherine. 2006. TEAM MOON: HOW 400,000 PEOPLE LANDED APOLLO 11 ON THE MOON. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-50757-4

2. Plot Summary:
Catherine Thimmesh tells the story of the behind-the-scenes workers who helped take part in the greatest American space accomplishment of our time. Through quotes and interviews with people connected with the Apollo 11 mission, Thimmesh reveals their stories and draws together the huge undertaking that put the first Americans on the moon.

3. Critical Analysis:
In her personable account of the enormously complex task that was Apollo 11, Catherine Thimmesh relays the true stories of the men and women who helped make that mission possible. Through photographs (some of which were actually taken on the moon!) maps, and charts, Thimmesh conveys the thoughts and worries of the team that engineered, built and tested the Apollo 11 system. The author relates the magnitude of people responsible for ensuring the successful accomplishment of landing a man on the Moon and returning them to Earth. In a clear, organized manner, she details the background of this endeavor, beginning with John F. Kennedy’s mission statement, “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth.” Her fact filled account tells of the separate organizations that worked together in support of the mission. “The lunar module was built by Grumman, 7,500 strong.” So as not to overwhelm the reader, a glossary, index and information on various Apollo missions is included at the end of the story. Readers who want to extend their knowledge of the U.S. Space Program can explore additional websites, investigate other sources, and read chapter notes included in the back of the book. Photographs support the text and provide a visual account for the reader to connect with the true-life details that weave together to form the fabric of this tale. People, young and old will appreciate the heroic particulars, great and small, that came together to create this successful enterprise. Thimmesh proves that no great deed is solitary, it takes a team.

4. Review Excerpts:
Orbis Pictus Award: Outstanding Nonfiction for Children 2007
Robert F. Sibert Award 2007
Outstanding Science Tradebooks for Students K-12 2007
Starred in KIRKUS. “This beautiful and well-documented tribute will introduce a new generation to that triumphant time.”
Starred in HORNBOOK. “The narrative balances what could have been a recitation of corporate names with a colloquial approach and high drama; primary source material gives specificity to the thousands.”
Reviewed in SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. “Despite occasional contrast issues when the white-on-black text is printed over blown-up photographs, this dramatic account will mesmerize even readers already familiar with the event-and also leave them awed by the level of care and dedication it took to surmount so many daunting technological challenges.”

5. Connections:
Other books by Catherine Thimmesh:
Related books:
Schyffert, Bea Usuma. 2003. THE MAN WHO WENT TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON. ISBN 0-8118-4007-7
Godwin, Robert. 2005. APOLLO 11: FIRST MEN ON THE MOON. ISBN 1-894959-27-2
*Research other space missions and compare them to the Apollo 11’s problems and successes.
*Read biographies of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins and other astronauts.
*Write to NASA and get information on upcoming missions and projects

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