Reviews for Rocket to the Moon

by Don Brown

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Launching the Big Ideas that Changed the World series, Brown's historical graphic novel is narrated by Rodman Law, a daredevil in 1913 New Jersey, who frames the story after describing his own feats of parachuting and attempts to fly a rocket. Law provides a history of the discoveries that would enable space travel, the space race, and the (sometimes tragic) experimental missions that paved the way for Apollo 11. In pen-and-ink panels, Brown depicts such moments as Apollo 8 circling the moon, Apollo 11's liftoff, and somewhat less heroic occurrences ("Get me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating in the air," says one Apollo 10 astronaut to another). Successive panels and spreads depict the Eagle's landing and Armstrong and Aldrin's first steps on the moon. Brown's visual storytelling offers humor, vibrancy, and a wealth of historical insight. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 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.-Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The story of the first moon landing is something every child needs to know, and award-winning creator Brown (The Unwanted, 2018) makes it all that more engaging and accessible with his latest book. Narrating from the perspective of Rodman Law, the first man to fly a rocket, Brown recounts the history of the space race, from its explosive beginnings following WWII to its groundbreaking final discoveries. True to form, Brown skips over well-trod territory and retells the story with often overlooked details, such as the account of astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong fixing a broken switch on the Eagle with a ballpoint pen. Anecdotes like this make the book enlightening even for those familiar with the history; the end result is a broad yet eye-opening tribute to the astronauts' achievements. Brown's signature naturalistic watercolor art works wonders simple yet haunting, somehow capturing what often only a historic photograph can. The Big Ideas That Changed the World series is off to a promising start with this illuminating, cogent volume.--Peter Blenski Copyright 2019 Booklist


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Brown launches the Big Ideas That Changed the World series with a graphic commemoration of the program that put boots on the moon.Brown assumes the narrative voice of Rodman Law, a wisecracking professional daredevil who attempted to ride a rocket in 1913 ("Yeah, this oughta work") and beat the odds by surviving the explosion. He opens with a capsule history of rocketry from ancient China to the Mercury and Gemini programs before recapping the Apollo missions. Keeping the tone light and offering nods as he goes to historical figures including Johann Schmidlap ("rhymes with Fmidlap' "), "cranky loner" Robert Goddard, and mathematician Katherine Johnson, he focuses on technological advances that made space travel possible and on the awesome, sustained effort that brought President John F. Kennedy's "Big Idea" to fruition, ending the narrative with our last visit to the moon. Aside from the numerous huge, raw explosions that punctuate his easy-to-follow sequential panels, the author uses restrained colors and loose, fluid modeling to give his mildly cartoonish depictions of figures and (then) cutting-edge technology an engagingly informal air. He doesn't gloss over Laika's sad fate or the ugly fact that Wernher von Braun built rockets for the Nazis with "concentration-camp prisoners." Occasional interjections and a closing author's note also signal Brown's awareness that for this story, at least, his cast had to be almost exclusively white and male. A frank, often funny appreciation of our space program's high-water mark. (index, endnotes, resource lists) (Graphic nonfiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Launching the Big Ideas that Changed the World series, Brown's historical graphic novel is narrated by Rodman Law, a daredevil in 1913 New Jersey, who frames the story after describing his own feats of parachuting and attempts to fly a rocket. Law provides a history of the discoveries that would enable space travel, the space race, and the (sometimes tragic) experimental missions that paved the way for Apollo 11. In pen-and-ink panels, Brown depicts such moments as Apollo 8 circling the moon, Apollo 11's liftoff, and somewhat less heroic occurrences ("Get me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating in the air," says one Apollo 10 astronaut to another). Successive panels and spreads depict the Eagle's landing and Armstrong and Aldrin's first steps on the moon. Brown's visual storytelling offers humor, vibrancy, and a wealth of historical insight. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 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.-Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The story of the first moon landing is something every child needs to know, and award-winning creator Brown (The Unwanted, 2018) makes it all that more engaging and accessible with his latest book. Narrating from the perspective of Rodman Law, the first man to fly a rocket, Brown recounts the history of the space race, from its explosive beginnings following WWII to its groundbreaking final discoveries. True to form, Brown skips over well-trod territory and retells the story with often overlooked details, such as the account of astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong fixing a broken switch on the Eagle with a ballpoint pen. Anecdotes like this make the book enlightening even for those familiar with the history; the end result is a broad yet eye-opening tribute to the astronauts' achievements. Brown's signature naturalistic watercolor art works wonders simple yet haunting, somehow capturing what often only a historic photograph can. The Big Ideas That Changed the World series is off to a promising start with this illuminating, cogent volume.--Peter Blenski Copyright 2019 Booklist


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Brown launches the Big Ideas That Changed the World series with a graphic commemoration of the program that put boots on the moon.Brown assumes the narrative voice of Rodman Law, a wisecracking professional daredevil who attempted to ride a rocket in 1913 ("Yeah, this oughta work") and beat the odds by surviving the explosion. He opens with a capsule history of rocketry from ancient China to the Mercury and Gemini programs before recapping the Apollo missions. Keeping the tone light and offering nods as he goes to historical figures including Johann Schmidlap ("rhymes with Fmidlap' "), "cranky loner" Robert Goddard, and mathematician Katherine Johnson, he focuses on technological advances that made space travel possible and on the awesome, sustained effort that brought President John F. Kennedy's "Big Idea" to fruition, ending the narrative with our last visit to the moon. Aside from the numerous huge, raw explosions that punctuate his easy-to-follow sequential panels, the author uses restrained colors and loose, fluid modeling to give his mildly cartoonish depictions of figures and (then) cutting-edge technology an engagingly informal air. He doesn't gloss over Laika's sad fate or the ugly fact that Wernher von Braun built rockets for the Nazis with "concentration-camp prisoners." Occasional interjections and a closing author's note also signal Brown's awareness that for this story, at least, his cast had to be almost exclusively white and male. A frank, often funny appreciation of our space program's high-water mark. (index, endnotes, resource lists) (Graphic nonfiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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