Inspiring, fascinating, and, like the millions of parts that had to function for the space program to succeed, practically...

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DESTINATION MOON

THE REMARKABLE AND IMPROBABLE VOYAGE OF APOLLO 11

“Someday, people are going to try to go back to the Moon, and they are going to find out how hard it really is,” reflected one of the men who had been deeply involved in America’s drive to land a man on the moon.

How right he was. Maurer begins his reads-like-fiction tale with the roots of the moon missions, World War II. Not only were many of the primary scientists, managers, and astronauts veterans of the war, but the technology needed for a successful moonshot also emerged then. The story is neatly broken down into the numerous steps (and missteps) along the way, each providing impetus for the next, that made up the effort to reach the moon by the seemingly almost unachievable goal of decade’s end that President John F. Kennedy set in 1961. By providing plenty of information about the parallel—but always a step or two ahead—Soviet space program, Maurer clearly contextualizes the U.S. effort against the simmering threat of the Cold War. Accurate, detailed, and thoroughly entertaining, this tale is an essential purchase at a time when some are questioning if the moon landings were a propaganda hoax. Numerous archival black-and-white photographs, meticulous endnotes, an extensive reference list, and a timeline round out this outstanding work.

Inspiring, fascinating, and, like the millions of parts that had to function for the space program to succeed, practically perfect. (Nonfiction. 10-adult)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-745-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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WORLD WITHOUT FISH

The author of Cod (1997) successfully provides readers with a frightening look at the looming destruction of the oceans. Brief sections in graphic-novel format follow a young girl, Ailat, and her father over a couple of decades as the condition of the ocean grows increasingly dire, eventually an orange, slimy mess mostly occupied by jellyfish and leatherback turtles. At the end, Ailat’s young daughter doesn’t even know what the word fish means. This is juxtaposed against nonfiction chapters with topics including types of fishing equipment and the damage each causes, a history of the destruction of the cod and its consequences, the international politics of the fishing industry and the effects of pollution and global warming. The final chapter lists of some actions readers could take to attempt to reverse the damage: not eating certain types of fish, joining environmental groups, writing to government officials, picketing seafood stores that sell endangered fish, etc. Whenever an important point is to be made, font size increases dramatically, sometimes so that a single sentence fills a page—attention-getting but distractingly so. While it abounds with information, sadly, no sources are cited, undermining reliability. Additionally, there are no index and no recommended bibliography for further research, diminishing this effort’s value as a resource. Depressing and scary yet grimly entertaining. (Nonfiction/graphic-novel hybrid. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5607-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge.

EYE OF THE STORM

NASA, DRONES, AND THE RACE TO CRACK THE HURRICANE CODE

From the Scientists in the Field series

A high-altitude drone built for the Air Force is repurposed to investigate hurricane behavior in a NASA–sponsored project headquartered at Wallops Island, Virginia.

This latest title in a long-running series looks at cutting-edge meteorological research with implications for the billions of people around the world who live in the paths of tropical cyclones. Opening with a chapter about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it goes on to explain hurricane formation and NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission. Cherrix introduces the Global Hawk drone project and describes preparations for a sample flight over the intensifying Hurricane Edouard in 2014. Finally she shows how another tropical storm, the 1970 Bhola cyclone in the Indian Ocean, led to the creation of a new nation, Bangladesh. This is real science, which, as the author points out, takes time—time to amass and analyze data and then to submit and have it vetted before publication. But it doesn’t make for very compelling reading. Readers drawn in by the dramatic cover and opening description of a tragic teen death as a result of Hurricane Sandy may get bogged down in the scientific and engineering detail, which uses appropriate but unfamiliar technical terms and acronyms, defined in context but hard to remember. They may struggle to keep straight the many scientists involved.

Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge. (hurricane preparedness, glossary, chapter notes, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-41165-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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