Reviews for Team Moon : How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Thimmesh introduces the 400,000-strong army that got Armstrong and company to the moon and back. The narrative balances what could have been a recitation of corporate names with a colloquial approach and high drama; primary source material gives specificity to the thousands. A striking white-on-black design and gorgeous archival photographs enhance this presentation. Back matter authenticates this highly original addition to space exploration literature. Bib., glos., ind. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #4
From launch to splashdown, Thimmesh gives names and voices to the 400,000-strong army that got Neil Armstrong and company to the moon and back. Taking as her organizing principle the journey itself, she describes how each element was made possible by NASA and its many contractors. Thus readers learn about the 14,000 people at North American Rockwell who built the command module Columbia, the 17,000 people at NASA's launch operations, and so on, from the women who sewed the spacesuits to the engineers who designed the re-entry parachutes. The narrative balances what could become a recitation of corporate names with a colloquial approach (at times a little too breezy) and high drama, from the disaster speech President Nixon never had to make to the various hair-raising glitches that could have made that speech a reality. An extraordinary amount of primary source material aids in giving specificity to the thousands: the recollections of many of the key players, recorded in interviews with the author, share space with excerpts from mission transcripts and the TV broadcast of the event. A gracious plenty and more of back matter both authenticates the narrative and gives eager readers many directions for further exploration. Add a striking white-on-black design and gorgeous archival photographs (many of them full-page), and the result is a spectacular and highly original addition to the literature of space exploration. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2006 May #2
"For me, that was the time in history and the event to participate in above all others." That comment, from one of the 400,000 involved in the team effort to put men on the moon in 1969, sums up the essence of this dramatic account of the work of people behind the scenes in the Apollo program. Illustrated with striking black-and-white photos, the white text on a black background of each page underscores the risk of this venture into the unknown. Beginning with Nixon's just-in-case prepared announcement of the astronaut's "sacrifice," the author presents the expedition as a series of challenges, including surprising details. Not all the challenges were directly related to the voyage: a windstorm in Australia threatened television transmission; photographs had to be perfect and the film disinfected (of nonexistent bacteria) before it was developed. The authors emphasizes the paper-and-pencil calculations, the endless testing and checking, and elaborate recordkeeping that supported this work, and the sense of personal responsibility each participant felt. This beautiful and well-documented tribute will introduce a new generation to that triumphant time. (author's note, resources, bibliography, glossary) (Nonfiction. 10+) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 April #3

This behind-the-scenes look at the first Apollo moon landing has the feel of a public television documentary in its breadth and detail. The book opens with several photographs of people huddled around TVs to view the event (one shows Italians watching a small set at an outdoor café). The author then delves into the back story of the organizations and hundreds of thousands of people who made the 1969 mission possible. Readers meet 24-year-old "computer whiz kid Jack Garman," who helped work through worrisome computer glitches during the Eagle 's landing, as well as one of the seamstresses who sewed the spacesuits ("We didn't worry too much until the guys on the moon started jumping up and down. And that gave us a little bit of an eyebrow twitch"). The 16 chapter-like segments flow chronologically, from John F. Kennedy's 1961 speech to Apollo 11 's splashdown. Thimmesh (Madame President ) peppers her lengthy, fact-filled narrative with folksy adages (e.g., "Here they were, less than 500 feet from the moon, and just about plumb out of fuel"). The colloquialisms sometime seem at odds with the myriad of engineering acronyms and jargon. But the author maintains a conversational tone, and tackles and explains tough topics such as "cluster interference" in parachute deployment and a bit of the chemistry behind developing the astronauts' dramatic photographs, many of which illustrate the story. Even if the jargon gives readers pause, the little-known facts will keep their interest level high. Ages 9-up. (June)

[Page 190]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 June

Gr 5 Up -In infectiously hyperbolic prose that's liberally interspersed with quotes and accompanied by sheaves of period photos, Thimmesh retraces the course of the space mission that landed "an actual man, on the actual Moon." It's an oft-told tale, but the author tells it from the point of view not of astronauts or general observers, but of some of the 17,000 behind-the-scenes workers at Kennedy Space Center, the 7500 Grumman employees who built the lunar module, the 500 designers and seamstresses who actually constructed the space suits, and other low-profile contributors who made the historic flight possible. Despite occasional contrast issues when the white-on-black text is printed over blown-up photographs, this dramatic account will mesmerize even readers already familiar with the event-and also leave them awed by the level of care and dedication it took to surmount so many daunting technological challenges. Drawn from personal interviews and oral histories as well as a wide array of published sources, this stirring, authoritative tribute to the collective effort that left "...footprints, crisp and clear, pressed purposefully and magnificently into the lunar dust" belongs in every collection.-John Peters, New York Public Library

[Page 188]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2006 October
Those adults old enough to remember the spell that was cast over America when Apollo 11 landed on the moon will understand the importance of this historic event. Thimmesh provides a colorful and impacting overview. The narrative revolves around the contribution of all those invested and involved in the mission. Whether it was the emotion and interest of the spectators or the dedication and involvement of those behind the scenes, Thimmesh recounts the importance of everyone's connection to the accomplishment of landing on the moon. Black-and-white photographs lend authenticity to the narrative. The text contains several quotes from the astronauts and from many others involved with the mission. She addresses the challenges of the mission specifically and provides interesting details about the obstacles that led up to those first steps. The book ends with several interesting bits, such as photographs of some of the people from whom quotes were taken, and a list of the quotes and their sources. Additional sources consulted and a list of additional reading round out the text This book will be a useful and interesting overview of the Apollo 11 mission for reluctant readers. Public and school libraries will find it a helpful addition to their nonfiction collection. The photographs and easy-to-read format make it suitable for browsing. Teens interested in space exploration will love this overview and want to read more.-Victoria Vogel Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.