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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,250 ratings  ·  392 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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 ·  2,250 ratings  ·  392 reviews

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Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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Moonshot:The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca is the story of the first American manned moon landing, Apollo 11 in 1969. It's told in a simple manner and doesn't contain too many facts for young readers.

The illustrations are very detailed and the story is written in poetic form.

From Earth to moon and back again, it's the perfect book for young elementary readers.

For older kids, there's the more complicated story including facts and t
Jul 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Dream of Space
Chosen as one of the ten "Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2009" by The New York Times, and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine, Brian Floca's picture-book treatment of the epic story of Apollo 11 - the NASA mission which landed the first human beings on the moon - had high standards to meet, if it was to live up to my expectations. I'm happy to say that it was everything promised! With a narrative that manages to be both concise and informative, and gorgeous artwork that grabs the reader' ...more
Jan 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This is SUCH a lovely book! My daughter M (age not-quite-4) wanted a book about astronauts, so I helped her ask the librarian, and this is what the librarian recommended. It is perfect! The words are beautiful for reading aloud, the details of the artwork are incredible, and it does an amazing job of conveying the scope and scale and majesty and astoundingness of what we did in going to the moon. I actually tear up when I read the part about the people waiting at home, just imagining what that m ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids interested in the history of space exploration; kids who like adventure
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) 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
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
No wonder this was a Siebert Medal honor book! Floca manages to make you feel, with both words and pictures, as if you're right there the day Apollo 11 lifted off for the moon. Reading this, it amazes me that we were able to get people to the moon and back, given the huge distance they had to traverse in such a relatively tiny spacecraft. I kind of miss thoses days, when we looked up to the moon knowing that astronauts were up there. It made the problems here on earth look so insignificant for a ...more
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
I still think this should have been noticed by Caldecott.
Emily Hoover
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I have always been fascinated by the story of Apollo 11 because my Grandfather actually worked very closely with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. My Grandpa worked at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and he announced the countdown for the launch of Apollo 11. In the book, there is a full spread that goes through the countdown and has illustrations that describe what is happening with the rocket. I might have some bias, but it was my favorite part ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, educational and well written. I checked it out for my space science class but I enjoyed reading it myself! I thought I knew everything there was to know about the moon landing and this book proved me wrong! I learned so much from this gorgeous book.
Krista Wilkewitz
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edr-320
This books unique feature are the beginning and ending pages on the inside covers. They give information about the spacecraft, Apollo 11, and a lengthy narrative of the process leading up to the launch.
Grades 5+
This book could be used in science when learning about the moon or even in writing to have students write letters to NASA.
I read the 2019 expanded edition. I appreciate that Brian Floca updated the language and images to be more inclusive of the diversity of people who worked on Apollo 11. A beautiful book.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This edition of “Moonshot,” expanded for the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing, simply tells a new generation of readers the story of Apollo 11 and the men who made the first footprints on the lunar surface. Lavish illustrations accompany the inspiring narrative that is certain to keep the dream alive for those that will make new pilgrimages to the moon and beyond.

This Robert F. Sibert honor book received a best-illustrated children’s book award from the New York Times Book Review.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love the way this was written.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this picture book that tells the story of Apollo 11. Definitely a keeper.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book for a five year old or older about the first moon landing.
Taylor Adams
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it
I loved all of the books that I read this week but this was in my top 3. I really like the illustrations that Floca incorporated into the book. There is a set of pages that are centered around the takeoff of a "spaceship", and just the art itself really tries to place the reader right there in the moment. Throughout the book, Floca continues to try to do this or at least wants the reader to be able to imagine being there. But most of all you learn so much about not just space, but about a really ...more
This has a lot more information than it appears from the cover! Hold on! You will have some information about Apollo 11 that you did not know when you get done. A great primer for a kid who only knows a little about the mission, too. Enough info here to get them through their 4th grade CSA.
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
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sparse. The words and the illustrations were not giant trumpets telling the story of Apollo 11, but a quiet melody detailing the grandeur, seemingly impossibility and exhausting work that went into this flight and landing on the moon. The simple details of this book moved me to tears imagining the voyage that the 3 astronauts took, and the world took alongside them.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll-538
My love for the space program and the early missions of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo led me right to this book!! Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 tells the story of three brave men, Michael Collins, Edwin Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and their journey into space to be the first men to set foot on the moon in 1969. Through detailed illustrations, diagrams and timelines, we feel as though we are right there with the astronauts on their mission to the moon. From the mission control countdown to the sp ...more
CH13_Meghan Schultz
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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."

Caroline C
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This informational text is geared towards students in grades 2-4. Students will find themselves on an adventure as they discover the story of Apollo 11. Brian Floca brings the reader into a world of exploration as they learn about this monumental moment in history. The descriptive narrative and captivating pictures provide a step-by-step account of Apollo 11’s journey.

For students in second grade, Readworks has a paired-text lesson that goes along with this book.
Whitney Raeon
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
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
Tasia Sandlin
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is about three astronauts that head for the moon. It talks about the detail of that day and different things people were doing that day. The rocket releases off the ground and enters into space heading towards the moon. The illustration is very animated and detailed. This story even describes the food, the zero gravity, the skill to sleep and even the skill to potty. The rocket finally arrives on the moon and everyone back on earth were watching them first take step on the moon. This ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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Brian Floca is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winner Locomotive, the Robert F. Sibert Honor books Moonshot and Lightship, and other picture books, and is the illustrator of many more books for young readers. Brian Floca lives and works in Brooklyn.

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