I’m writing this post on Thursday afternoon-tonight we will finally have our Night of Mystery! The kids wore their glow in the dark shirts to school today, and they are so excited about literacy night. I wrote a story for the principal to read at the end of the evening with a surprise ending. I really hope the students enjoy it!
My Perfect Picture Book Selection this week is Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, written and illustrated by Brian Floca. It was published by Atheneum Books in 2009. This book is suitable for any age, but the reading and interest level is around third grade.
“High above there is the Moon, cold and quiet, no air, no life, but glowing in the sky. Here below there are three men who close themselves in special clothes, who-click-lock hands in heavy gloves, who-click-lock heads in large round helmets. It is summer here in Florida, hot, and near the sea. But now these men are dressed for colder, stranger places. They walk with stiff and awkward steps in suits not made for Earth. They have studies and practiced and trained, and said good-bye to family and froends. If all goes well, they will be gone for one week, gone where no one has been.”
Why I like this book: Moonshot is beautifully illustrated and well-written. It is non-fiction, but it read much like a story. Michael Collins, Command Module Pilit for Apollo 11 said, “Reading Moonshot gave me the feeling I was back in space.” What an amazing compliment to the author/illustrator! Moonshot is also a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. This award is given each year to distinguished informational books in the United States. My favorite page in the books is a two page spread of the rocket lifting off. “The rocket is released! It rises foot by foot, it rises pound by pound.” I really like the way Floca uses onomatopeia to create imagery in the story for young readers. His recreation of the events leading up to the launch and after are very real to life. The reader feels the excitement that the people sitting in front of their televisions felt that July day in 1969 when they listened to the sounds from outer space for the first time. At the end, there is a detailed expository piece about the history behind Apollo 11. This is one of the most excellent books about Apollo 11 for children that I have read.