*Junior Library Guild Selection 2017*
A unanimous selection to the 2018 Maverick Graphic Novel List!
This graphic retelling of the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission follows astronaut Michael Collins, commander of the lunar orbiter, to the far side of the moon.
When the Earth disappears behind the moon, Collins loses contact with his fellow astronauts on the moon’s surface, with mission control at NASA, and with the entire human race, becoming more alone than any human being has ever been before. In total isolation for 21 hours, Collins awaits word that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have managed to launch their moon lander successfully to return to the orbiter—a feat never accomplished before and rendered more problematic by the fuel burn of their difficult landing. In this singularly lonely and dramatic setting, Collins reviews the politics, science, and engineering that propelled the Apollo 11 mission across 239,000 miles of space to the moon.
Fountas & Pinnell Level U
While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are household names, "the only thing most people know about Michael Collins is that he didn't get to walk on the moon." Irvine and Bishop aim to remedy that with this graphic biography, which traces Collins's upbringing and NASA career through his selection for the Apollo 11 mission and his life afterward. Bishop works in a rough, schematic style, and his liberal use of swaths of black, accented with violet, makes the vastness of space felt in nearly every panel. Unfortunately, Irvine's writing tends to be flat and halting, as well as repetitive ("They were about to try to do something that no one in the history of the human race had ever done"; "Collins and Armstrong had just pulled off a flight maneuver that no one in history had ever done before"). Direct quotations from Collins appear occasionally, though their sourcing isn't always clear. Bishop's spec-like images of equipment and rocket trajectories aid substantially in understanding the challenges these astronauts faced. Ages 8 12.