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How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure

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Everyone knows of Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on the moon. But what did it really take to get us there? The Moon landing is one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. This fully illustrated book tells the stories of the 400,000 unsung heroes--the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers--and their inno Everyone knows of Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on the moon. But what did it really take to get us there? The Moon landing is one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. This fully illustrated book tells the stories of the 400,000 unsung heroes--the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers--and their innovations and life-changing technological leaps forward that allowed NASA to achieve this unparalleled accomplishment. From the shocking launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik to the triumphant splashdown of Apollo 11, Caldecott Honor winner John Rocco answers every possible question about this world-altering mission. Each step in the space race is revealed, examined, and displayed through diagrams, experiments, moments of crisis, and human stories.


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Everyone knows of Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on the moon. But what did it really take to get us there? The Moon landing is one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. This fully illustrated book tells the stories of the 400,000 unsung heroes--the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers--and their inno Everyone knows of Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on the moon. But what did it really take to get us there? The Moon landing is one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. This fully illustrated book tells the stories of the 400,000 unsung heroes--the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers--and their innovations and life-changing technological leaps forward that allowed NASA to achieve this unparalleled accomplishment. From the shocking launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik to the triumphant splashdown of Apollo 11, Caldecott Honor winner John Rocco answers every possible question about this world-altering mission. Each step in the space race is revealed, examined, and displayed through diagrams, experiments, moments of crisis, and human stories.

30 review for How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure

  1. 5 out of 5

    G.

    There is only one word to describe this book: monumental. Both in subject and achievement, this is the space nerds ultimate book on how we solved one of the biggest problems in history: how to leave our planet and land on another world and get back safely. The scope is enormous but Rocco breaks it down in a way that anyone can understand and be totally in awe of. A must read book for STEM related classes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    I agree with author David Macaulay: "Nothing short of stunning!" John Rocco tells the story of all the people, all the technology, and all the uses of science that led to our first trip to the moon. It's an inspiring story, a story with nothing but heroes, people using their minds and resources to solve a big problem by solving hundreds and thousands of little problems. Every picture in the book was drawn by John Rocco which adds to the magnificence of this book. Anyone with any interest in space I agree with author David Macaulay: "Nothing short of stunning!" John Rocco tells the story of all the people, all the technology, and all the uses of science that led to our first trip to the moon. It's an inspiring story, a story with nothing but heroes, people using their minds and resources to solve a big problem by solving hundreds and thousands of little problems. Every picture in the book was drawn by John Rocco which adds to the magnificence of this book. Anyone with any interest in space would love this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This is a soaring triumph - stellar in every way! John Rocco set out to explain how every part of the Apollo/Saturn machine worked and how it was built. He especially wanted to show young readers the science and problem solving that was involved along the way. And he wanted to introduce some of the thousands of unsung people who contributed to this monumental achievement. He does all that in this fascinating, detailed and visually magnificent chronicle. He begins with the origins of the Space Race This is a soaring triumph - stellar in every way! John Rocco set out to explain how every part of the Apollo/Saturn machine worked and how it was built. He especially wanted to show young readers the science and problem solving that was involved along the way. And he wanted to introduce some of the thousands of unsung people who contributed to this monumental achievement. He does all that in this fascinating, detailed and visually magnificent chronicle. He begins with the origins of the Space Race in 1957 and a brief history of rocketry and then plunges into the nitty gritty of designing, building, testing and flying to the moon with all the steps, problems and triumphs along the way. As someone who has read many histories of this period AND lived through it, the early history was bit slow but I understand the necessity for young readers. The book becomes deeply interesting quickly at Chapter 2 with the discussion of the process of designing a rocket. While this is a solid historical account of the Apollo effort, the focus is on the science, technology and engineering achievements. Rocco's prose is clear and understandable as he carefully distilled oceans of information for young readers. He does an excellent job of providing a thorough explanation without overwhelming the text. The tone is just right, informative, concise and filled with wonderful tidbits of related topics to heighten interest even for those only generally interested in the technical details. Space food, the disgusting but imperative issue of going to the bathroom in space, the history of the "human computers," and, something I always wondered about, what are all those people in the command center doing at all those monitors. A wonderful feature of the book are the many sections that show some of the scientific problems faced along the way and the solution. Often these also include a simple experiment that kids can do that demonstrates the science behind the solution. A highlight for me are the many short biographical inserts that feature some of the people involved in the effort who contributed important ideas, developments or efforts along the way. So many of these people were critical to the success of the mission but received very little public attention. Rocco includes people like Ann Montgomery, an engineer and the only woman allowed on the launchpad, Charles Draper who developed the Guidance system, or Eleanor Foraker, the Seamstress Manager for the Apollo Spacesuits. Rocco explains in a Author's Note in the back matter that although there are plethora of photographs, blueprints and drawings available, he chose to create all the illustrations himself. He did that in order to make the concepts more accessible and understandable for readers without being overwhelmed by extraneous details. He also chose to use color as most of the original photographs are visual materials are black and white. The result is visually stunning as well as being deeply absorbing. I read this in galley with only some of the planned back matter included. The Note on the Research was extremely interesting and even in galley form the visual impact of the book is outstanding. I am eager to see it in finished copy. This is a must purchase for every library collection and a perfect choice as a gift book for every science loving student.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Random House Children's Publishing through NetGalley. It's obvious this author has done his research. Rocco presents the entire process for the Apollo moon trips in one source. He begins with the background of the Mercury and Gemini missions along with the Cold War competitive drive. From there, he explores every aspect of the Apollo missions from design through the entire Apollo 11 trip and landing. The detailed information may be too murch for some middle grade I received an electronic ARC from Random House Children's Publishing through NetGalley. It's obvious this author has done his research. Rocco presents the entire process for the Apollo moon trips in one source. He begins with the background of the Mercury and Gemini missions along with the Cold War competitive drive. From there, he explores every aspect of the Apollo missions from design through the entire Apollo 11 trip and landing. The detailed information may be too murch for some middle grade readers but it is balanced with diagrams and text boxes that provide information in an easy to follow format. Rocco captures the excitement and incredible science needed to make this happen. He honors the many diverse people involved as well as the many companies who had to work together to build the needed equipment from the rocket on down. Further information provided at the end of the book - sources, bibliography, glossary. Perfect all in one book for readers who are interested in how our space program evolved.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa D

    What a masterpiece ! This book should be used in classrooms and available in museums, especially space history museums! I love this author! This book should Win a lot of awards! I loved it! This book is highly recommended for all who are in interested in NASA & space travel!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Antoine Revoy

    With more than 250 gorgeous pages of rigorously researched and elegantly visualized stories of challenges, met and resolved, John Rocco's HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON is a master work befitting one of humanity's most daring and improbable collective achievements. HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON inspires wonder at human ingenuity, science and engineering, while being at its heart a story about people. It beautifully celebrates the sum of the work of individuals—some famous, some unheralded—whom each in their own With more than 250 gorgeous pages of rigorously researched and elegantly visualized stories of challenges, met and resolved, John Rocco's HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON is a master work befitting one of humanity's most daring and improbable collective achievements. HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON inspires wonder at human ingenuity, science and engineering, while being at its heart a story about people. It beautifully celebrates the sum of the work of individuals—some famous, some unheralded—whom each in their own important way contributed to this mission. As told in the book's opening pages, pioneering German rocket engineer Wernher von Braun was inspired as a child by Jules Verne's fictional novel FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON. In turn, this book will surely transmit to its readers* a love of nature, problem-solving and adventure. *My wife and I bought copies for both our young nephews/nieces and for family members who are engineers and doctors. It is a welcome breath of inspiration and optimism in mankind, for all ages, during tough times.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received an eARC courtesy of Crown Books for Young Readers & NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book is a powerhouse. While some of the details might be more than what an average middle grade reader might be interested in learning, there is so much here for kids to pick and choose from. Scratch that-I think this is wonderful for all ages. I learned so much from this that I have never known. The illustrations are stunning, as expected. And the resources and further reading provided I received an eARC courtesy of Crown Books for Young Readers & NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book is a powerhouse. While some of the details might be more than what an average middle grade reader might be interested in learning, there is so much here for kids to pick and choose from. Scratch that-I think this is wonderful for all ages. I learned so much from this that I have never known. The illustrations are stunning, as expected. And the resources and further reading provided in the back matter only serve to enhance the knowledge. Simply wonderful. For libraries: Buy it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    **Received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own** This book was pretty good. I learned a lot about what took to get to the moon. There was a lot of technical/science stuff I didn’t quite understand (there’s a reason I didn’t go for a science major in college), but the information was all interesting. I liked that we got information on some of the people who aren’t commonly talked about with the Apollo missions. Overall, I think that anyone who’s interested in space/the moon, would rea **Received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own** This book was pretty good. I learned a lot about what took to get to the moon. There was a lot of technical/science stuff I didn’t quite understand (there’s a reason I didn’t go for a science major in college), but the information was all interesting. I liked that we got information on some of the people who aren’t commonly talked about with the Apollo missions. Overall, I think that anyone who’s interested in space/the moon, would really enjoy this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    Space may be the final frontier, but it is a mystery that we have already begun to explore, beginning with man's first trip to the moon in 1969. And for anyone who has wondered how it was done without the benefit of today's technology, Rocco has provided all the answers from the beginnings of NASA's space program, and including the step-by-step work of the engineers, mathematicians, and scientists involved in that successful moon landing. Rocco leaves nothing to the imagination, giving realistic Space may be the final frontier, but it is a mystery that we have already begun to explore, beginning with man's first trip to the moon in 1969. And for anyone who has wondered how it was done without the benefit of today's technology, Rocco has provided all the answers from the beginnings of NASA's space program, and including the step-by-step work of the engineers, mathematicians, and scientists involved in that successful moon landing. Rocco leaves nothing to the imagination, giving realistic explanations and descriptions of every step in the process of what he calls humanity's greatest adventure. He clearly loves his subject, and has done all the detailed illustrations himself. His goal was to produce the kind of book he would have wanted and poured over as a boy. The result is both informative and riveting. What makes it really work for young readers interested in science is that it isn't dry or boring, but written in a reader-friendly narrative style. Rocco has also included many of the diverse people who worked on the moon landing and who don't generally get the credit they deserve. Back matter includes A Note About Research, Sources, Documentaries, websites, Places Visited, and suggestions for Further Reading, and more. If you have a young or old reader who is interested in space, this is the book for them. It will keep them occupied for a long time and I wouldn't be surprised if they returned to it again and again. I'm giving a copy of this to a friend's son, as well as to my 95-year-old uncle who will love it. This book is simply knock your socks off wonderful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin Moulton

    Gorgeous illustrations gives this history of the space race an awesome edge. A great choice for lover's of history, space travel, engineering and historical figures. A fine coffee table book, too. To be picked up over multiple readings and enjoyed over time. Gorgeous illustrations gives this history of the space race an awesome edge. A great choice for lover's of history, space travel, engineering and historical figures. A fine coffee table book, too. To be picked up over multiple readings and enjoyed over time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Thorp

    Excellent!!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Tournas

    Rocco has produced a wildly engaging, comprehensive, and beautifully illustrated resource on NASA’s quest to send a human to the moon. Fully illustrated with pencil, watercolor and digital painting, the art is descriptive and visually appealing. From portraits to maps, diagrams and images of the moon, Rocco easily translates images and physics concepts to the untrained reader. Beginning with the Cold War space race and the 1957 launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union, up to the Apollo 11 mission Rocco has produced a wildly engaging, comprehensive, and beautifully illustrated resource on NASA’s quest to send a human to the moon. Fully illustrated with pencil, watercolor and digital painting, the art is descriptive and visually appealing. From portraits to maps, diagrams and images of the moon, Rocco easily translates images and physics concepts to the untrained reader. Beginning with the Cold War space race and the 1957 launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union, up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, every aspect of technology, physics, space vehicles, propulsion, lunar knowledge and spacesuits, including the personnel behind them, is covered. The layout of each page and page opening varies, with text, illustration, side bars and boxouts organizing and presenting facts. Many scientists are profiled, including many women I had never heard about, such as Dorothy Lee and Rita Rapp, as well as members of the Apollo workforce that were African Americans, such as Dorothy Vaughan and Charles Smoot. Non American scientists are also given mention. Author’s notes, sources, a bibliography, a list of acronyms, and an index add to the usefulness of the book for scholarly research.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    The best book I've read about the moon and the Apollo program and I've read a few. In the author's notes at the end of the book John Rocco said he wanted to create a book he would have devoured as a boy. He succeeded. Read this one yourself and marvel at the illustrations and then read it with a younger relative or friend. Perfect for any kid who loves space, mechanics, engineering, how-to do complicated things. Very inspiring. The best book I've read about the moon and the Apollo program and I've read a few. In the author's notes at the end of the book John Rocco said he wanted to create a book he would have devoured as a boy. He succeeded. Read this one yourself and marvel at the illustrations and then read it with a younger relative or friend. Perfect for any kid who loves space, mechanics, engineering, how-to do complicated things. Very inspiring.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tam I

    Read an ARC. Far more technical than I thought it would be. Great that there are suggested experiments mixed in. A bit of a slog to get through.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sunday

    NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book 2021; ALA Sibert Honor Award 2021 REMARKABLE for the detailed illustrations and depth of content. In the author's note, Rocco writes about how he set out to research and then explain every single part of the Apollo/Saturn machine. While readers learns about common NASA topics like "space food," they also learn about thousands of other pieces of equipment (and the people who created them) needed for this endeavor (e.g., F-1 engines, inertial platform, main contro NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book 2021; ALA Sibert Honor Award 2021 REMARKABLE for the detailed illustrations and depth of content. In the author's note, Rocco writes about how he set out to research and then explain every single part of the Apollo/Saturn machine. While readers learns about common NASA topics like "space food," they also learn about thousands of other pieces of equipment (and the people who created them) needed for this endeavor (e.g., F-1 engines, inertial platform, main control panels) and how this equipment works. These details are embedded in a larger narrative of how NASA got men to the moon. Rocco created every illustration from scratch so that he could make the concepts more accessible to students. This is especially apparent in his diagrams explaining how components like the F-1 engine work. Not a picture book you can read aloud to students. Definitely a reference book that your students will want to return to again and again. As a science teacher, this could be helpful in making connections between NGSS and real world applications, too. Recommended for grades 4-9.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizasdavis

    This gorgeous book tells the story of the people, the engineering and technology behind how we got to the moon. The illustrations perfectly engage readers and show the story in beautiful detail. I bought one copy for my middle-school aged nephew and another for my husband and I know they will both love their Christmas presents! Great for all ages, this is a book that will absolutely grow with readers and be enjoyed over and over in new ways.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Esmeralda Caballero

    How We Got the Moon is an expository text suitable for grades 4-8 that details the exciting history, technology, and science behind landing on the moon for the first time. Rocco's engaging writing style and captivating illustrations allow young readers to become curious and interested with the topic. Rocco starts by explaining how the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union caused a race space and to the moon. The Russians were the first in space with the launch of Sputnik in 195 How We Got the Moon is an expository text suitable for grades 4-8 that details the exciting history, technology, and science behind landing on the moon for the first time. Rocco's engaging writing style and captivating illustrations allow young readers to become curious and interested with the topic. Rocco starts by explaining how the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union caused a race space and to the moon. The Russians were the first in space with the launch of Sputnik in 1957. This caused paranoia is the American people, which then lead to the creation of NASA in 1958. Next, Americans had to figure out how to get to the moon by designing a moon rocket. This book is rich in informational illustrations and text features to explain complex scientific concepts, such as how an airplane flies in comparison to how a rocket flies. Rocco also does a wonderful job with putting things into perspective for young readers. For example, he uses illustrations to help readers visualize the Earth-Moon scale with a basketball and a tennis ball, and a basketball court to demonstrate the distance between the Earth and the moon. Even more impactful, he uses a finger that is just about to touch a basketball to illustrate the distance that the Mercury astronauts traveled from Earth. These explanations really help to put this complex information into perspective for young readers. I also really liked that Rocco included an entire page dedicated to Katherine Johnson's essential contribution to NASA. He also makes sure to include other women such as Dorothy B. Lee and JoAnn H. Morgan, which is important for students to see that anyone can be a scientist, not just white men. This text is so versatile in the classroom because it's perfect for interdisciplinary integration! There are so many ways to use this book... Social Studies/History: Students can create a timeline of the key events leading Americans to the moon. Students can also choose their favorite NASA scientist that worked during this time and create a live museum presentation. Students can research more about the Cold War and create a venn diagram comparing and contrasting the United States and the Soviet Union. Students can research and write about how the Civil Rights movement during this time and how segregation and sexism impacted women at NASA such as Katherine Johnson. Science: Students can design their own working model rocket and write a report explaining their plan and scientific reasoning. Students can explore circuits and electricity by creating their own working battery and then writing an explanation of how and why their battery works, as well as how it relates to the fuel cells from the Apollo. Reading: Text Structure: Students can look for 3 problems and solutions and explain the significance of how that impacted the ability to go to the moon. Text Features: Students can do a scavenger hunt to locate various text features and explain their purpose and importance for readers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This one is a 4.5 for me, and I was simply stunned by the detail and precision of the text and the illustrations, created painstakingly with pencil, watercolor, and digitally. While some young readers might need to sip the book over several settings, many will gobble it up, including some adults of a certain age like me. I can recall being awakened by my parents back in the summer of 1969 to sleepily watch the grainy images sent from the Moon on our black and white television set and marveling a This one is a 4.5 for me, and I was simply stunned by the detail and precision of the text and the illustrations, created painstakingly with pencil, watercolor, and digitally. While some young readers might need to sip the book over several settings, many will gobble it up, including some adults of a certain age like me. I can recall being awakened by my parents back in the summer of 1969 to sleepily watch the grainy images sent from the Moon on our black and white television set and marveling at this feat. I remember walking outside to see if I could detect those astronauts' presence on the Moon. Thus, I read the book with a feeling of nostalgia but also wonder and admiration at the efforts of more than 400,000 individuals who made that landing possible. Author/Illustrator John Rocco relies on present tense verbs to tell this story, giving it a sense of immediacy and urgency while also highlighting the contributions of various individuals along the way. Not only does he explain how rockets work, but he also discusses the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union and various successes and failures along the way. One of the most appealing features involves the problems encountered as teams worked on this project; those problems are solved in various ways, making for fascinating reading. Information about astronaut training and the equipment needed to survive in space has also been provided, and the complicated science and mathematics have been simplified for a lay audience. I lost count of the number of fascinating diagrams that were included, but I spent quite a lot of time examining them and thinking of the care that went into designing and sewing parachutes and spacesuits and the building of each part of that craft. While Rocco is careful to include snippets about the contributions women made to the space race, there is little mention of those who were almost astronauts other the Woman in Space Program. Perhaps it would detract from his focus on the Apollo 11 story, but it's an important point to cover. Nevertheless, this well-written and engaging book represents much research, and just might rekindle interest in space exploration. This is the kind of book that someone wants to save and pass down to the next generation because yes, much of this information can be found online, but not in such a well-designed format and with such enthusiastic attention to detail. What a treat it was to read this one!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky B

    An exhaustive look at all the people who worked on jobs small and large over basically a decade to make Apollo 11 a success. We have several books now on the path to the moon landing, but this is hands down the most comprehensive one. In fact, if this had come out first I may not have bought others (though several of the others are much more bite size and this took me several days to get through...I can only see the most obsessed space travel/rocket engineering enthusiast kids getting through al An exhaustive look at all the people who worked on jobs small and large over basically a decade to make Apollo 11 a success. We have several books now on the path to the moon landing, but this is hands down the most comprehensive one. In fact, if this had come out first I may not have bought others (though several of the others are much more bite size and this took me several days to get through...I can only see the most obsessed space travel/rocket engineering enthusiast kids getting through all of this, others will likely use it as a research resource for small parts). I can't believe that Rocco illustrated EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. of this! Do I even want to know how long it took him to finish this book between the writing and the illustrations? I just know this had to have been years in the making, and he deserved a couple shiny stickers for all that work. I did appreciate that he highlighted people like the seamstresses who spent years sewing parachutes and the layers of the space suits, and little-known engineers who designed different parts of the space craft. If you know a space travel obsessed kid or young adult, they will love you forever for handing them this book. It is the perfect gift for a nerdy reader. Notes on content: No language issues. There's an illustration of some early astronaut underwear that is a little speedo-ish. The deadly fire of Apollo 1 is described.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    It takes 65,000 errors before you are qualified to make a rocket - Wernher von Braun Core Rope Memory weavers: Raytheon, the company responsible for Core Rope Memory production hires experienced weavers to weave the programs through all the magnetic cores. Nicknamed the “little old ladies” because most of them are grandmothers they painstakingly work the tiny wires through and around the donuts according to the layout of a particular program. Each program takes at least six weeks to weave and the It takes 65,000 errors before you are qualified to make a rocket - Wernher von Braun Core Rope Memory weavers: Raytheon, the company responsible for Core Rope Memory production hires experienced weavers to weave the programs through all the magnetic cores. Nicknamed the “little old ladies” because most of them are grandmothers they painstakingly work the tiny wires through and around the donuts according to the layout of a particular program. Each program takes at least six weeks to weave and then it is put through months of rigorous testing. (The Apollo Guidance computer) Mathematician Margaret Hamilton was the very first programmer that MIT hired for Apollo and her job was to help design the software programs for the AGC to run. One of the first things she did was change her job title from programmer to software engineer as she believed she was just as much of an engineer as the men who were building the spacecraft. She coined the term “software engineer “ The whole idea of going into space was new and daring. There were no textbooks, so we had to write them. - Katherine Johnson, mathematician. The way they encounter and then find solutions to problems over and over and over again is totally inspiring. I was medium- interested in the subject before I opened the book but the author does an amazing job explaining what a monumental achievement was achieved by ordinary people being diligent about solving problems and having a common vision. We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard. - JFK

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Incredible. Fantastic coverage of all the major components of the program that eventually landed humans on the moon. The depth of information was perfect for such a comprehensive look at the Apollo Program. I'm sure many readers will be curious to learn more information about some of the things covered in this book and do some extra work outside of this book to learn more. For me, this happened with the guidance gyroscope. This is not a weakness of the book but a strength. It isn't meant to take Incredible. Fantastic coverage of all the major components of the program that eventually landed humans on the moon. The depth of information was perfect for such a comprehensive look at the Apollo Program. I'm sure many readers will be curious to learn more information about some of the things covered in this book and do some extra work outside of this book to learn more. For me, this happened with the guidance gyroscope. This is not a weakness of the book but a strength. It isn't meant to take readers on a deep dive into any of the topics but to give enough information to capture the key people and scientific advances in order to fit the full story into a book of manageable size. Considering Rocco's previous works, this next bit can almost go without saying... The illustrations are amazing. They always add to the reader's understanding. I really like the choice to use illustrations rather than existing (or new) photographs because those images are mostly already popular and familiar to people. These illustrations capture people, objects, and concepts in new ways. Any reader of any age who already has an interest in the Apollo Program will probably love this book but I think it could spark a real sense of wonder about space, engineering, teamwork, humanity, civics, cooperation, innovation, and grit.

  22. 5 out of 5

    montogma25

    This was such an interesting read and a terrific introduction to the world of space exploration for the younger generation. How We Got to the Moon by John Rocco does an amazing job explaining the Space program to young readers. The illustrations are beautifully designed to explain the technical and procedural aspects of NASA that make it very easy for a person who is does not understand science that well to get the concepts. There was a ton of information in the book that even I did not know abo This was such an interesting read and a terrific introduction to the world of space exploration for the younger generation. How We Got to the Moon by John Rocco does an amazing job explaining the Space program to young readers. The illustrations are beautifully designed to explain the technical and procedural aspects of NASA that make it very easy for a person who is does not understand science that well to get the concepts. There was a ton of information in the book that even I did not know about like the Mobile Quarantine Facilities that NASA uses to quarantine the Astronauts in when they get back from their mission. It was also great to hear about the part that the seamstresses played in creating the suits. I had no idea that it was done by hand. I have to admit that I am saddened by the fact that we have not gone back to the moon in such a long time. I guess that's because of all the new found interest in Mars. Hopefully we will go back to the moon someday. I also enjoyed the section that explained all of the Apollo Missions and not just Apollo 11. Not to mention all of the experiments that are mentioned in the book are really neat! Overall, I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend it to anybody who in interested in space exploration or the history of space exploration. Well Done, John Rocco!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'm not much of a science person, and I loved this book. Even the technical, I-can't-even-really-comprehend-this drawings of space parts and how things worked. Rocco, instead of using original photos, blueprints, etc., has drawn all of the illustrations in this book. And there are A LOT of them. Another plus is that the book doesn't just focus on the astronauts, or the space craft itself, but on all of the preliminary work that went into every single step of the race to the moon. So many people I'm not much of a science person, and I loved this book. Even the technical, I-can't-even-really-comprehend-this drawings of space parts and how things worked. Rocco, instead of using original photos, blueprints, etc., has drawn all of the illustrations in this book. And there are A LOT of them. Another plus is that the book doesn't just focus on the astronauts, or the space craft itself, but on all of the preliminary work that went into every single step of the race to the moon. So many people were involved behind the scenes (which he hints at on the front cover), including those who sewed parachutes, the human "computers" who figured out calculations, those who had to build the launch pad and figure out a way to get the rocket there. With all of the millions of pre-flight details, it's truly amazing, then, that the flight, moon landing, and return were all accomplished without a (major) hitch. Highly recommended. Some middle school students will eat this book up. (Those that love The Way Things Work or similar books).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Yay -- a space book! Rocco's approach is a love song to science and engineering -- he breaks the story into projects (rockets, spaceship, etc) and discusses how and where it was built, pausing to identify PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONs to model how engineers react to obstacles. Boxes pull out individuals to describe their contributions and diagrams illustrate how many devices work. There are also easy experiments to do at home to grasp many of the principles involved. He works hard to find a variety of Yay -- a space book! Rocco's approach is a love song to science and engineering -- he breaks the story into projects (rockets, spaceship, etc) and discusses how and where it was built, pausing to identify PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONs to model how engineers react to obstacles. Boxes pull out individuals to describe their contributions and diagrams illustrate how many devices work. There are also easy experiments to do at home to grasp many of the principles involved. He works hard to find a variety of people to celebrate while acknowledging that NASA was set up to boost white men through special treatment. Back matter has sources of information, books, websites, museums, interviews, as well as books for further reading and a handy list of NASA acronyms.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Read for Librarian Book Group Having lived in the long, long shadow of the baby boomers for more than four decades, I felt I had absorbed more than enough about the moon landing. But then: this book. John Rocco looks at the cornucopia of problems the US needed to solve to get to the moon and he lays out a solution for each problem. His big picture viewpoint highlights many people behind the scenes including the seamstresses who made the parachutes that deployed after the astronauts reentered eart Read for Librarian Book Group Having lived in the long, long shadow of the baby boomers for more than four decades, I felt I had absorbed more than enough about the moon landing. But then: this book. John Rocco looks at the cornucopia of problems the US needed to solve to get to the moon and he lays out a solution for each problem. His big picture viewpoint highlights many people behind the scenes including the seamstresses who made the parachutes that deployed after the astronauts reentered earth's atmosphere. Rocco uses illustrations rather than photographs, and I thought this was a brilliant decision. The illustrations convey the many small details about the bits and bobs of the infrastructure that was part of the US Space Program. Highly recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Wow! I never thought a children’s illustrated book about science could make me feel such emotions... this book is both incredibly well written, and beautifully illustrated. The right amount of information to really understand and absorb through the words and images. So many interesting tidbits and anecdotes about the quirks of these astronauts and their work, the 400,000 other individuals involved, alongside Newton’s laws of physics explained in the context of rockets. My one criticism is that it Wow! I never thought a children’s illustrated book about science could make me feel such emotions... this book is both incredibly well written, and beautifully illustrated. The right amount of information to really understand and absorb through the words and images. So many interesting tidbits and anecdotes about the quirks of these astronauts and their work, the 400,000 other individuals involved, alongside Newton’s laws of physics explained in the context of rockets. My one criticism is that it definitely glossed over some less than savory parts, with an “all’s well that ends well” attitude, in regards to gender and racial disparities, and the true tensions and seriousness of the Cold War... but overall this book was choice.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This book is a true treasure of information, inspiration, and great interest for a variety of ages. The level of research that went into this book is apparent and yet the sections are fun and visual and cause the reader to want to up their science game to better understand some of the explanations. It was thrilling to see just what looked like an impossible situation at every turn wound up being possible and achieving more than the original goals that were set. Anyone who loves space should own This book is a true treasure of information, inspiration, and great interest for a variety of ages. The level of research that went into this book is apparent and yet the sections are fun and visual and cause the reader to want to up their science game to better understand some of the explanations. It was thrilling to see just what looked like an impossible situation at every turn wound up being possible and achieving more than the original goals that were set. Anyone who loves space should own this book. It provides a wonderful "insiders" look at how so many people are needed in so many places to solve so many problems all for one goal. Definitely a book I will be recommending to my students for their interest and certainly for any research they would like to do.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    So much detail went into this book from the small biographies inserted every few pages to the work to understand elements like jet propulsion but also how an astronaut goes poop in space. The focus includes the building of the space program from proclamations from president's to the "race" with Russia. The watercolor-like drawings compliment the details and bring the larger-than-normal size of the book right out of the page. I got bogged down in trying to understand the details because I don't h So much detail went into this book from the small biographies inserted every few pages to the work to understand elements like jet propulsion but also how an astronaut goes poop in space. The focus includes the building of the space program from proclamations from president's to the "race" with Russia. The watercolor-like drawings compliment the details and bring the larger-than-normal size of the book right out of the page. I got bogged down in trying to understand the details because I don't have a brain for it, but the attempt was noted! For someone who loves space, this is a treasure and just one more awesome book to hold in their hands and dream of going to space.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Read for the Mock Caldecott voting in January. This is just a stunning book that will appeal to anyone who is interested in the history of the "space race". It is beautifully illustrated. There is tons of information and although some fairly scientific details are discussed, the language is understandable. This was a fascinating read and although I certainly won't remember everything...way to much info to retain it all...I certainly have a new appreciation for the energy, dedication and investme Read for the Mock Caldecott voting in January. This is just a stunning book that will appeal to anyone who is interested in the history of the "space race". It is beautifully illustrated. There is tons of information and although some fairly scientific details are discussed, the language is understandable. This was a fascinating read and although I certainly won't remember everything...way to much info to retain it all...I certainly have a new appreciation for the energy, dedication and investment that it took to accomplish. I wish I'd paid a little more attention to this historic time that I lived through. My mom always said she thought it all happened on a back lot in Hollywood!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura Giessler

    OK, so I did not read this book cover-to-cover. It is FULL of information, in a super-cool format, with "problem-solution" sections, tons of diagrams and detailed illustrations, awesome headings and subheadings. It's really an encyclopedia of everything you could ever want to know about the mission of sending humans to the moon. And it's fascinating--I read the "Staying Alive in Space" chapter. Have you ever wondered how going to the bathroom works in space? in a crowded spaceship? with no gravi OK, so I did not read this book cover-to-cover. It is FULL of information, in a super-cool format, with "problem-solution" sections, tons of diagrams and detailed illustrations, awesome headings and subheadings. It's really an encyclopedia of everything you could ever want to know about the mission of sending humans to the moon. And it's fascinating--I read the "Staying Alive in Space" chapter. Have you ever wondered how going to the bathroom works in space? in a crowded spaceship? with no gravity? Yeah, they tell/show you, in detail. If you are interested in space exploration, this is a book for you!

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