: Big Ideas that Changed the World series
By Don Brown
Grades 3 and
graphic novel series, Big Ideas That Changed the World celebrates
the “hard-won succession of ideas that
ultimately changed the world.”
In Rocket To The Moon, Brown focuses on the
people and inventions that would eventually lead to the landing of Apollo 11 on
the moon in 1969.
Brown uses Rodman
Law, (January 21, 1885-October 14, 1919), a real daredevil, to this
well-researched, nonfiction title told in comic format.
Chinese invented gunpowder in the first century, it was not until the fifteenth
century that the English and French began using rockets as weapons and
fireworks. The rockets the British launched at Fort McHenry during the War of
1812, inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star-Spangled Banner. “And the rocket’s red glare…”
“Then the ideas dried up, and nothing much
happened with rockets until the beginning of the twentieth century, when three
honest-to-goodness rocket scientists showed up: Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky,
American Robert Goddard, and Romanian Hermann Oberth.”
all three? The book by French novelist Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon and a Trip Around It. Published in 1865,
the science fiction tale was all about traveling through outer space. This book
would change the lives of all three men.
lots of fascinating details, such as how the astronauts went to the bathroom in
space. In his author's note, he explains that the development of the rocket and its usage was mostly in the hands of white men. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician working for NASA, is mentioned. Brown also acknowledges that today NASA is made up of a diverse group of people.
includes a timeline, source notes for the quotes used throughout the story, an
extensive bibliography of books, magazines, television, movie and website
resources. An author’s note, brief bio of Rodman Law (his sister was Ruth Law,
the famous record-setting flyer), and index.
This is a
fascinating, well done addition to books on the race to the moon.
To write this review, I borrowed a copy of the book from my local public library.