A handsomely packaged look back at an epochal achievement.

A free-verse ode to the Apollo program, still the high-water mark of this country’s space program.

Like Catherine Thimmesh’s Team Moon (2006), this album is offered in tribute to the massive, collective eight-year effort to send explorers to our closest celestial neighbor and then bring them back. Slade intersperses resumes for the members of each Apollo crew up to Apollo 11 with extended poetic flights that include significant technical details along with dramatic passages: “Explosive fire. Deafening noise. / The rocket blasts off / above an inferno of white-hot flames.” A prose coda offers nods to the major corporations that developed and built the Saturn V rocket and the spacecraft it carried, then an account of the Apollo 11 astronauts’ triumphant reception back on Earth. Gonzalez’s big, kaleidoscopic montages and page-filling close-ups of tense faces likewise highlight the drama and are so realistic as to be sometimes difficult to distinguish from the photos with which they are mixed. One glimpse of brown hands using a slide rule and an African-American woman (unidentified but probably Katherine Johnson) in another montage are the only indications here that the space program wasn’t an all-white enterprise. Still, it makes a grand—if, so many years later, nostalgic—tale about a magnificent effort.

A handsomely packaged look back at an epochal achievement. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, bibliography, sources, index) (Nonfiction/poetry. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68263-013-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018



If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. “Your Rights and Mine” traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is “Visiting the Declaration of Independence.” It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1448-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000




Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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