Rocket to the Moon!

Rocket to the Moon! illus. by Don Brown. 136p. (Big Ideas That Changed the World: Bk. 1). chron. index. notes. Abrams/Amulet. Mar. 2019. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781419734045.
RedReviewStarGr 3–7—Brown's new graphic nonfiction series follows a "big idea" from conception to fruition. This first installment starts with early rocket science, details the Apollo 11 mission, and ends with Gene Cernan, the 12th and last (so far) Earthling to walk on the moon. Early 20th-century daredevil Rod Lawman narrates, providing commentary and keeping the tone light, like Nathan Hale in the "Hazardous Tale" series. Much of the dialogue is direct quotations, cited in the endnotes. Brown addresses information that's sometimes omitted from children's texts: only men were considered for the early astronaut programs, people and animals died in rocket tests and space flights, and Wernher von Braun forced concentration camp prisoners to build rockets for the Nazis before he surrendered to the Americans. Explosions feature in many of the dynamic illustrations, as rockets were just as likely to blow up as they were to take off, and readers will be amused by frank descriptions about dealing with bodily functions on early space missions. Back matter includes a time line of spaceflight and rockets and information on Rodman Law.
VERDICT A must for youth graphic collections.

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