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Countdown : 2979 days to the moon

de Suzanne Slade

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"In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would try to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. During the two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-nine days that followed his speech, eighteen astronauts climbed into spaceships; three of them died before even leaving the ground. Eight rockets soared into space. And four hundred thousand people--engineers, technicians, scientists, mathematicians, and machinists--joined Project Apollo in hopes of making the dream a reality"--… (mais)
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A beautiful book that tells a suspenseful story of the Apollo program in free verse across 144 pages. The verses are paired with stunning, carefully researched paintings. Between each pair of chapters, a two-page spread contains photos and facts. I struggled with which age to recommend this one for -- it is marketed at middle-grade kids, and will be useful for kid research about the Apollo program, but the verse format makes it a captivating read-aloud book. This one will last on a kid’s bookcase for a long time. ( )
  elakdawalla | Dec 10, 2020 |
COUNTDOWN by Suzanne Slade tells the true story of the moon landing.

Told through stunning illustrations and engaging free verse, this large picture book takes readers on a 2979 day journey from President John F. Kennedy’s announcement through the moon landing. Each of the nine chapters explore a different stage in the project. Thomas Gonzalez’s photo-quality images share a visual record, while the free verse draws readers into the engaging true story. The book concludes with background information, notes, a bibliography, quotations, and an index.

Librarians will find that this large picture book provides a unique way to experience this powerful story of engineering and human sacrifice. Pair it work biographies and other works of nonfiction along with the many NASA websites related to the moon project.

Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  eduscapes | Jan 20, 2019 |
2,979 days after President Kennedy announced,

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth,"

this nation did just that. Not only did we achieve the goal, we did it all in the days before personal computers, cell phones, ATMs, and video games were invented. If you visit the historic Mission Control room in Johnson Space Center, you will be amazed at what was accomplished with the technology of the time.

In free verse poetry, Suzanne Slade recounts the extraordinary journey, both daring and dangerous, that culminated in the first humans to walk on the lunar surface.

"The men steal a last glance at their beautiful home,
then Borman begins the TLI countdown: "9,8,7,..."
With each passing second,
excitement builds at Mission Control.
No astronaut—American or Soviet—
has ridden a rocket beyond Earth orbit.
"3,2, light On. Ignition," Borman announces.
"Ignition," Lovell confirms.
The third-stage engine reignites,
sending the craft on its long trek to the Moon.

As Apollo 8 screams into space,
Borman, Lovell, and Anders
become the first humans
to fly above Earth orbit."

The text is presented against a backdrop of illustrations in pastel, colored pencil, and airbrush. Gonzalez has created a delicate balance of realism and magic. The artwork is recognizable as images seen in news media of the era, and yet, it is elevated with a patina of enchantment. The resulting combination is stunning.

Between chapters, there are two pages detailing each Apollo mission, which include photos, astronaut bios, and mission statistics, e.g., dates, duration.

Extensive back matter includes more information on Apollo 11, and Author's Note, Illustrator's Note, Selected Bibliography, Sources for Quotations, and Photo Credits.

As the nation contemplates manned missions to Mars, it is fitting to look back on the sacrifices and triumphs of an earlier space-traveling generation.

See all of my reviews at https://shelf-employed.blogspot.com

(My review copy provided by the publisher) ( )
  shelf-employed | Jul 20, 2018 |
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"In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would try to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. During the two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-nine days that followed his speech, eighteen astronauts climbed into spaceships; three of them died before even leaving the ground. Eight rockets soared into space. And four hundred thousand people--engineers, technicians, scientists, mathematicians, and machinists--joined Project Apollo in hopes of making the dream a reality"--

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