The captivating true story of NASA's effort to land the first man on the Moon, told through powerful free verse and stunning illustrations
A patriotic testament to American grit and ingenuity, Countdown presents exhilarating, informative, and accessible free verse by award-winning author Suzanne Slade paired with historic photographs and detailed illustrations by New York Times bestselling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez. Together, they capture the gripping historic story of NASA's twentieth century efforts to conquer a new space frontier.
Through triumph and tragedy, success and failure, an entire nation is glued to the high-stakes, 2,979-day mission as eighteen astronauts climb into spacecraft; three men die before even leaving the ground; eight rockets soar into space; and 400,000 people-engineers, technicians, scientists, mathematicians, and machinists-join Project Apollo in pursuit of making a dream a reality.
As part of her research for this book, Suzanne Slade interviewed one of the six remaining astronauts who has walked on the Moon, Alan Bean, and corresponded with Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut. At the end of each chapter, a brief interlude summarizes key mission events and the careers and achievements of the astronauts involved. Back matter includes more information about Team Apollo and the return of Apollo 11, author and illustrator notes, bibliography, and source notes.
About the Author
A mechanical engineer by degree, Suzanne Slade is the Siber Honor award-winning author of more than 150 books. Before beginning her writing career, Suzanne worked at McDonnell Douglas Space Systems in Huntington Beach, California, on Delta rockets, Titan rockets, and the Delta-Star spacecraft. While at MDSS, Suzanne worked with engineers who helped create the third stage of the Saturn V rocket which launched the Apollo moon missions. As part of her research for this book, Suzanne interviewed one of the six remaining astronauts who has walked on the Moon, Alan Bean, and corresponded with Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut.
Thomas Gonzalez is an illustrator, designer, and portrait artist. A native of Cuba, Gonzalez came to the United States when he was ten years old. He studied at the Atlanta School of Art (now called Savannah of Art and Design). After working at the Coca-Cola Company for more than twenty years, Tom held several creative positions with other global brands. He has illustrated a number of books, including the New York Times bestseller 14 Cows for America.
★ "Stunning. . . Slade's carefully crafted, often alliterative text, written in free verse, is both succinct and readable, drawing this large topic down to the most necessary and interesting facts with enough detail to excite young teens as well as adults who may have lived through the missions.. . . Truly out of this world. A must-buy for most poetry collections." —School Library Journal, Starred Review
"[A] book that will captivate and entertain young readers while educating them about an amazing decade of U.S. space exploration. . . In the 21st century, space travel goals aim much further away than the moon, but Countdown drives home how truly incredible the Apollo missions are in the history of mankind." —Shelf Awareness
★ "Captivating free-verse narrative. . . vivid mixed-media illustrations that stun with photographic realism and varied perspectives. . . this well-researched title offers a stirring introduction to one of humankind's most impressive undertakings." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A grand—if, so many years later, nostalgic—tale about a magnificent effort. A handsomely packaged look back at an epochal achievement."—Kirkus Reviews
★ "Elegant and informative, this is sure to attract casual browsers and true space nerds alike."—Booklist, Starred Review