ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON by Alex Irvine

ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

The Story of Apollo 11's Third Man
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An account of the first moon landing, with special focus on Michael Collins, the astronaut who stayed aloft in the command module.

“The only thing most people know about Michael Collins is that he didn’t get to walk on the moon,” writes Irvine, who then works to fill in details of his subject’s career before, during, and after his multiple stints in space. This effort is particularly lifeless, though, as bland generalities (“Michael Collins worked hard and waited for his chance”) and at best only glancing references to his family, to medical issues, to his spacesuit-design work, to his lively sense of humor—which infuses his autobiography for young readers, Flying to the Moon and other Strange Places (1976)—and to anything that he’s done since 1976 leave him a distant figure. Bishop’s drab, sketchy duotone scenes and schematic diagrams likewise keep Collins and the space program’s dramatic achievements at arm’s length; capsules and rockets are small on the page; human figures who aren’t anonymous beneath faceless helmets are barely recognizable; and the artist offers only perfunctory historical renditions of astronaut gear, control boards, and the like. Along with Flying to the Moon (for those who can find it), Bea Uusma Schyffert’s The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon (2003) offers a more animated, informative picture of Collins, Apollo, and the space program in general.

Uninspired: reads and looks like a rough draft. (timeline, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-88448-452-3
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Tilbury House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2017




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