Rocket to the Moon! by Don Brown

Graphic artist Don Brown give us a comprehensive visual account of the Apollo space program.

Rocket to the Moon! (Big Ideas that Changed the World #1) by Don Brown.  Amulet, 132 pages including index, notes, and bibliography.

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10

Recommended for: ages 8-14

The idea of rocket propulsion goes back several hundred years (think of the “rockets’ red glare” dating from 1814).  But the idea of traveling by rocket is only about a hundred years old, and one of the first to try it was Rodman Law of New Jersey.  He becomes our narrator for this graphic history of the Apollo Project, the first major goal of NASA and a dream that was accomplished less than 10 years after its proposal.  The project has been covered in some outstanding picture books (see our roundup here), but this graphic treatment gives us more background into the technology and its development by Goddard, Tsiolkovsky, Oberth, and Wernher Von Braun (did you know he was a Nazi?).

The U.S. got a late start in its “space race” with the Soviet Union but soon caught up and left the Commies in a dusty haze.  Don Brown’s dramatic graphic style and straightforward narrative make this an understandable story even non science-nerds will find engrossing.

Other graphic histories by Don Brown include Drowned City, Up & Down, and The Great American Dust Bowl.

Considerations: Language (one quoted profanity)

Overall rating: 3.75 (out of 5)

Worldview/moral value: 3.5

Artistic value: 4

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