Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  731 ratings  ·  176 reviews
Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure a...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
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14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra DeedyThe Lion and the Mouse by Jerry PinkneyThe Curious Garden by Peter  BrownMoonshot by Brian FlocaRed Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman
2010 Caldecott Hopefuls
4th out of 62 books — 160 voters
Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsWhen You Reach Me by Rebecca SteadThe Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline KellyThe Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamilloWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Newbery 2010
37th out of 121 books — 510 voters

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I consider myself a person of at least average intelligence. I know how to hold down a job. To feed and clothe myself. And when it comes to historical events I tend to think that I know most of the pertinent details. Take the original moon landing of Apollo 11 as one such example. Sure, I knew that the folks on the ship were “Buzz” Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong. I knew it was a flight filled with close calls and near catastrophes (thank YOU Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh!). And I...more
Outstanding!!! I admit that this languished on my shelf for several weeks before the impending library due date forced me to read it. I'd heard rave reviews, but I wasn't really grabbed by the illustrations and the text seemed a bit long. Wow, am I glad I decided to read it!!! Floca tells the story of Apollo "The Eagle Has Landed" 11 with such heart and an almost poetic style--I was captivated and moved. The illustrations almost seemed a bit too cartoonish for the style of the text--though the i...more
The Library Lady
If this book doesn't get a batch of awards then I will totally give up on my fellow librarians as a bunch of hopeless twits! I would give it 4 1/2 stars if I could, perhaps even 4 3/4 stars.

This is one of the BEST pieces of non-fiction for children I have seen in a while. The language is simple enough to read to a younger child, but has such a poetic feel that it will catch the attention of an older child who can read it on their own. There is plenty of information, but it's presented in a way t...more
CH13_Meghan Schultz
As the 2010 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, this picture book tells the story of Apollo 11. While the story of Apollo 11 is quite grand and detailed, this picture book does a phenomenal job of retelling this historic mission in a very simplistic way, one in which younger students would be apt to understand. Key vocabulary such as the astronauts' names (Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin), spaceships' names (Columbia and Eagle), launch control jargon (Go for launch), etc are all used...more
Picture Book- Non-Fiction
Published April 7th 2009 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
ISBN: 141695046X (ISBN13: 9781416950462)
Ages 4-7

The story of Apollo 11, its crew, and the world that watched it happen--the first moon landing in 1969.

Great Read aloud text for the following unit studies:
-Free-verse poetry
-US History- Kennedy, Nixon
-Author's website( has coloring pages, links to book traile...more
Dec 23, 2009 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, younger readers with adult help
I tried to dismiss this book as being too text-heavy, but thank god I have it another try. It's wonderful. The writing is simple but elegant. Elegant- there is just no other word that expressed the beauty inherent in its simplicity. Floca has taken the tired story of space travel to the moon and infused it with new life. He blends personal stories and factual details flawlessly.

A taste:
"Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin
ride the fire and thunder
pressed deep in their seats
their bodies as heavy as clay."

In Moonshot, Brian Floca has written and illustrated an extremely well-done account of the first moon landing for younger students. The story is simplified, but not so much that the emotional impact is lessened or any vital details skipped over. There is actually an amazing amount of detail given in the simple text. The illustrations add an extra layer of detail while at the same bring some humor and intensity to the story. I learned a lot just studying the diagrams, illustrations, and informati...more
Whitney Raeon
This is a wonderful informational text about the journey Apollo 11 took to the moon. I enjoyed this book because it tells a fascinating true story that keeps the reader intrigued and engaged while teaching them factual details about the journey to the moon.
Many kids love rockets and astronauts. As a result, I can see myself reading this book to my students. They will love the pictures and how the author creates anticipation about what will happen next. I can see introducing this book first thro...more
by Brian Floca
Published in 2009

Genre: Non-Fiction

Format: Picture book

Plot Summary: "Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery -- a story of leavin...more
Nicole Mcgovern
Bought this for the kids bc the author came to their school. It was so concise and beautifully written that I cried a bit while reading it to Ian. Jack got it autographed and it is his new fav book!
Cheryl in CC NV
*Wonderful.* I have no idea how Brian Floca managed to make history and technology (my least favorite subjects re' space) come so alive for me, but I'm impressed. I'm going to look for his other books. Lots of information, clearly and vividly presented, with a graceful, fluent text and bright illustrations that truly helped clarify the information. And for the true fan, there's lots more info. in the end-papers. I learned *lots* of stuff - for example did you know the astronauts were quarantined...more
Jun 16, 2014 Kristin added it
Shelves: nonfiction
1) Fiction Twin Text Book: I See the Moon, Author: Jacqueline Mitton, Copyright: 2011
2) Rationale: I selected the fiction book I See the Moon because I think it compliments the book Moonshot. Students in 3rd grade study the moon and its phases. In the book, I see the Moon the author/illustrator shows the varying shapes of the moon and the story ends with an astronaut looking at Earth from the moon. In Moonshot the story is about the first astronauts: Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin to visit the mo...more
I thought this was a very interesting story about the flight of Apollo 11. The story was easy enough for young children to read and was also inetersting enough to keep the attention of older kids. The illustrations were also great to look at and helped to tell the story. I also really liked how some of the words were larger than others to add drama and excitement to the story. This book would be great for kids in grades 2-6. This book is on the Robert F. Sibert Medal and Honor Books for 2010.
Nov 04, 2010 Brenda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Future Space Explorers
Recommended to Brenda by: Picture Book Club Selection for November
Shelves: picture-books
This was a very fun book to read with my son. The illustrations immediately grab your attention they are light hearted and warm at the same time. Floca presents a lot of information but seems to balance it with very detailed drawings that keep the child entertained as you are reading. The front inside and back cover provide some wonderful illustrations and notes on the stages of a launch and lunar insertion and liftoff. Overall, a wonderful book and highly recommend it.
Reading Level: 2nd Grade and older
Wow - This is non-fiction! I need to rethink the non-fiction shelves I tend to avoid. I enjoyed this poetic telling of the Apollo 11 flight of July 1969. The illustrations are a perfect blend with the text and a great draw for kids who might prefer it over actual photos. The front and back cover pages contain more info for space nut junkies who want to learn more. An absolute "must have" to a unit on space and exploration.
Laura G
I am now out from under my rock and am an official Brian Floca fan! He is a master at weaving accurate and detailed information into interesting text, accompanied by amazing and instructive illustrations. In Moonshot, he tells the story of Apollo 11 in poetic text, communicating the roles of the various spacecraft modules, what the journey was like for the astronauts, and the impact of the mission back home on Earth, particularly in the USA. I loved the illustration of the astronauts and various...more
Kelsey Kalinski
The twin text I chose for this book is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. These two stories obviously share a common topic, the moon. In my classroom for a science lesson over the moon, I would first pull out the story Goodnight Moon and read it to my students because this story is most likely one that they are very familiar with and may be a book that was read to them every night when they were younger. Then I would discuss with the students about how the moon is always there and seems like...more
With poetic, yet simple verse and dynamic illustrations, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 captures the drama and dedication that went into the world's first lunar landing. Mr. Floca gives a grand overview the historic mission, giving readers a glimpse into the astronauts' preparations, behind closed doors in launch control, all the way through liftoff, the moon landing, and back to splashdown back on earth in the ocean. He does all of this with impressively detailed and accurate illustrations,...more
This book is superb! I think it's wonderful that such a simple book can be so effective at visually transporting one into the reaches of outer space between our Earth and the Moon, and this is exactly what author/illustrator Brian Floca has accomplished. His illustrations of the largeness of space are amazing in their depth and masterful sense of scope, truly evoking a sense of wonder and awe at the massive size that exists even within just our solar system. The text is spare and beautiful, succ...more
Floca, Brian. Moonshot: the flight of Apollo 11. (Illus. by the author). Atheneum Books for Young Readers. An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. “A Richard Jackson Book.” Trade. ISBN: 978-1-416-9-5046-2. $17.99. Unpaged. Sources, Illustrations. (Primary, intermediate). 4 stars.

Brian Floca recaptures the momentous July 16, 1969 launch and landing of the six million pound Apollo11 spacecraft on the moon flawlessly. Beginning with the rollout of Apollo 11 to its launch,...more
Sandy Brehl
MOONSHOT: THE FLIGHT OF APOLLO 11 opens with endpapers depicting cutaways and labeled diagrams of the Saturn rocket that carried the team to the moon, along with paneled diagrams of each stage of the flight, landing, exploration, and return. The balance of accuracy and simplicity in both his illustrations and labeling are more than impressive and allow this book to defy a "target age" designation. The oversized format, simple fonts, double-page spreads, and lyrical text command attention.
"It cli...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I felt like I was the fourth passenger on Apollo 11 when I read this book. I saw what the crewmen saw; I felt what the crewmen felt.

The pictures are fun, like cartoons. The pictures, together with the text, carry you right into the story. Both the pictures and the text are simple, but there is more detailed information for those who want to know more in the back.

The children who listened to the story liked the pictures and the text a lot. They especially liked the way the words were written on t...more
4Q 4P
This is a very engaging picture book for young readers, which tells the story of Apollo 11 from the time of takeoff to landing. However, most of the detailed information lies on the book's endpapers. For example, the endpapers before the title page shows the parts of the Apollo spacecraft and launch vehicle and the endpapers after the story is an author's note with more background information about President Kennedy's influence, the Apollo mission, and statistics and scientific information...more

Floca, Brian. (2009). Moonshot. Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Moonshot makes an outstanding choice for read aloud. Authority is established as he credits all his sources he used in preparation of the book. NASA made available charts, graphs, press realeases, photographs, videos flight plans, and memoranda. A good place to start for viewing his sources he says is the NASA website. These were invaluable he states to the creation of the book. He also sites films especially documentaries on Apollo...more
Jenna Cohen
I read this book for the Sibert assignment.

It was a 2010 Sibert Honor Book.

This book would connect to the curriculum fantastically in terms of astromony and space. I think it could also tie in during a modern day explorers discussion, as is had at my school.

This is a big book and I found myself lost and mesmorized in the huge pictures of Space and the sky. The visuals were just enough to make me understand the (basic) science but mostly, feel the emotions of the astronauts and the world waiting...more
In July of 1969, the Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. became the first men to land on the moon. Brian Floca retells their epic journey in this highly praised children’s book that combines poetic prose with stunningly detailed illustrations. Where many children’s books having to do with space focus on the stars, planets, moon, comets, and other marvels of space, this particular title pays a lot more attention to the space shuttle and its components...more
This is in so many respects a stunning book. What Brian Floca has done with the language of an informational book for children is, in and of itself, a mighty accomplishment. Scholars who conduct analyses of the features of informational books--the generic structures, the linguistic features, the illustration extension elements--should be fascinated by this book because it bends some many of what are considered the information book's typical linguistic characteristics. And some of those folks nee...more
Audience: Juvenile, Ages 6 and up
Genre: Non-Fiction
Format: Picture Book

Moonshot is a non-fiction story about the Apollo 11 space flight to the Moon. The book is written in a story format making it interesting and fun to read. The front and back covers of the book display lots of details about the space craft that the astronauts flew and the recorded details of the flight.

Twin Text: eBook, Kindle Edition from Patrick and the Moon
Patrick is a little boy who wanted to visit the Moon. He...more
Lisa Vegan
May 28, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids interested in the history of space exploration; kids who like adventure
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
This book is impressive looking and it does a fabulous job of recreating the excitement of the first moon landing, especially if all the text is read. I loved all the details given at the start and at the end of the book. The details of the flight are so compelling and I think kids will be very interested.

I was 15; I remember watching on tv. I also remember Kennedy’s speech about his goal to get men (yes, back then it was only men) to the moon and back safely. (I was not as impressed as I should...more
This is a GREAT nonfiction picture book. Detailed cartoon-style drawings show the astronauts (and the moon and space and spaceships and...) as they prepare and take off for the eventful journey. Floca has filled the endpapers with detailed and informative drawings as well. I learned a lot from reading this book even though I thought I was familiar with this subject.

Long Picture Book of the Week Feature as posted on Literaritea

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Brian Floca
Atheneum Books for Young...more
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