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T-Minus: The Race to the Moon

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  105 reviews

Question:What happens when you take two global superpowers, dozens of daring pilots, thousands of engineers and scientists, and then point them at the night sky and say "Go!"


The whole world Followed the countdown to sending the first men to the moon. T-Minus: The Race to the Moon is the story of the people who made it happen, both in the rockets and beh

Paperback, 124 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by Aladdin
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May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
T-Minus is a brief, graphic novel history of the space race. And I did enjoy it, for the most part, but this is not the book to start with if you know little or nothing about the race to the moon.

It's obvious that a lot of research and love went into this book. There's some very detailed information here, and the writing is very enthusiastic. But it does seem to skip around quite a bit. I knew enough already to be able to follow it, but it might be confusing for somebody whose knowledge of spac
Dov Zeller
I found myself a little bored reading this one. Lots of great details and info but I didn't emotionally connect to the characters or the story. That said, I appreciate Jim Ottaviani's graphic address of this strange historical period and recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject matter.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jim Ottaviani is a God-send for those who don't have a science background but want to be scientifically-literate. This graphic history provides a superb overview of the American and Soviet Space Programs. It should be added to all US History course's coverage of the Cold War.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
T-Minus Race to the Moon is a light comic on the politics of the space race between US and USSR in the 60's. The long and short of it was that both countries had astro(cosmo)nauts who wanted nothing but to experience the wonder of space and moon and the world beyond Earth, while a bunch of politicians started an Earth race inside.

Did you know Valentina Tereshkova the first woman on space was there because she weighed lesser and the module needed a specific weight? If any of you thought wow, they
50 anniversary of First moon landing is this year on July 20, 1969.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Covered quite a bit in an entertaining way.
The scientists that are often not acknowledged as greatly as the astronauts are brought more to the forefront.
Colour illustrations would have made a great visual impact but the black and white illustrations are forgivable. It reminded me that back in the day, when the race to the moon was in it's later stages, all we had was black and white TV. Not t
Tariq Malik
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful retelling of the Space Race days from Sputnik to Apollo 11, with a novel storytelling style. As a space reporter, I appreciated the care taken on the details to share the challenges of spaceflight, the tragedies and the passion that pushed both the U.S. and USSR onward. POYEKHALI!
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ottaviani and his illustrators, Cannon & Cannon, are able to take the historical facts and NASA engineering terminology and pack the excitement of the US's 60s race to space with the USSR into 121 beautifully illustrated pages. not only do the illustrations provide a graphic representation of the written word, but they illustrate in the margins additional information, sun as other rocket missions important to the history of the space race, but not exactly to the story line. This provided additio ...more
Lars Guthrie
Dec 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I read this in conjunction with Brian Floca's picture book, 'Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11.' Both books commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the giant step. I thought 'Moonshot' the better of the two. I love Floca's deft lines and keeping the story simple works better in these formats (picture book and comic book). There is almost too much info in 'T-minus,' which begins at T-minus 12 years, just prior to the Soviet Union launching Sputnik.

No, actually, even before, as it flashes back to
David Corleto-Bales
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Very moving graphic novel that chronicles the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States, from the launch of Sputnik in 1957 to the landing on the moon by Apollo 11 in 1969. I liked the inclusion of the Soviet contribution to space exploration, (the Russians had the first satellite, the first man in space--Yuri Gagarin in 1961--as well as the first WOMAN in space--in 1963!--and the first space walk in 1965.) After 1965, the U.S. pulled away with the Gemini program and ended up ove ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it

The book T-Minus by, Jim Ottaviani is about the space race which is about the US and the USSR space programs trying to get to the moon before the other. There's no main character in the book. It shows on the side of each page rocket ships that each side used and how long they were in space. It starts near the end of WW2, with a Russian man who was put in gulag for treason for using pure oxygen as fuel.


A Lot of astronauts die from either blowing up or no o2. There is no mai
Vinayak Hegde
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A well written story which moves briskly along as two nations - USA and Soviet Russia - race to put a man on the moon. Soviet Russia wins the first few rounds send ing the first man / woman in space (Yuri and Valentina), performa the spacewalk. Then JFK gives his famous addreess to the nation to put a man on the moon to galvanise the American space community band together and focus on this mission at the height of the cold war.

The book is well researched and has lot of facts in a small space. I
Wyatt Butler
The book T-Minus by, Jim Ottaviani, the story of the great space race is told. The book includes many of the once and still famous astronauts. The book explains how the Russians and the Americans went up against each other in the great space race and It explains the astronauts and their lives and the many achievements they made. The many spacecrafts and satellites are talked about in the book. The main objective of the space race is to get as many satellites and people into space as possible and ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
T-minus: The Race to the Moon is a book all about the space race between the United States of America and the Soviet Union during the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. It covers both sides of the story rather than just one and goes into the stories of the astronauts, and the workers at NASA / NACA; as well as the stories of the People at the Russian research institutes, and the Russian cosmonauts. Its fun when reading as the Americans have typical text but then the Russians have certain letters repla ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This non-fiction graphic novel chronicles the events that took place in the US and the USSR as both countries were simultaneously struggling to be the first to do pretty much everything in space: first to launch a satellite, first to orbit Earth, first to reach the moon... I loved the way the author went back and forth, keeping it roughly chronological so the reader can easily compare the progress between the two nations. It was really eye-opening to see all the failure that both countries exper ...more
Kent Archie
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful little book. Even though I knew how it came out, it was exciting. I learned some things about the Russian space program that I didn't know. The drawings of each individual rocket launch emphasizes how much was happening in a very short time. Especially how far behind the US was in the beginning. This is a dramatization rather than a straight history but the authors detail the few liberties they took in a text page near the end. If you were around in the 60's and you want to g ...more
Shane Perry
The art by Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon is good. That is about the best thing I can say about this book. What could have been a fascinating story gets bogged down in technical jargon and an overused countdown device. I liked the little factoids about rocket tests that helped serve as a timeline of sorts, but this graphic novel is the equivalent of watching paint dry. Surely the facts could have been presented in a slightly more interesting way.
This is not for casual interest but if you want the space race elapsed in your hands this is the ideal vehicle!

This is very comprehensive but not too harsh on the layman- only because of the jargon glossary and constantly acronymble panel-footnotes!

Reading this in one sitting is not recommended, my eyes burn and I'm exhausted, but it's hard to stop the clock that is counting down page-by-page.
Caitlin Snyder
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this pretty clearly cut out the role women played in this effort (Hidden Figures? Margaret Hamilton?) but I'd say it's a solid average account. The use of only black and white made it a little more difficult than it needed to be.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Huh. Something weird happened here because I finished this a good year and a half ago. This was a very good concept, clarifying the history of the space race, looking at both the Russian and American projects, and adding in some very interesting details, all in graphic novel format.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I used to have this in my middle school science classroom, but my students always had it checked out and I never had a chance to read it.

It's informative, but I am personally drawn towards more personal/personable graphic novels.
Ike Smith
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun look at the Space Race, including some deep details that might be unfamiliar even to readers well-versed in this period of Cold War history.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was such a cool book. It surely gave me a picture in my head of how hard it was back then vs now.
T-Minus: The Race to the Moon covers the journey of the Soviet Union and America simultaneously to reach the moon. As a casual reader, I thought this book choppy and didn't hold my interest.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
It is hard to imagine a kid reading this ... maybe I am not thinking of the right kids.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very informative book. Includes lots of failures.
Brian Lindawson
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Fun to mix it up and read a different type of historical narrative. But with all these graphic novels I have trouble keeping the characters straight.
Stan Pedzick
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fun graphic version of the space race between the US and the USSR. Showing the how the programs evolved for both for both countries.
Quinn Rollins
I recently read Tom Wolfe's THE RIGHT STUFF, which was an interesting, nearly-fictionalized retelling of the story of the Mercury 7 astronauts--the first Americans to go into space. .

I guess I'm in a Space Race kind of mood, because I just finished Jim Ottaviani's T-MINUS: THE RACE TO THE MOON. The graphic novel-format book has art by Zander and Kevin Cannon, and is a good example of Ottaviani at his best. Where THE RIGHT STUFF focused on the astronauts, T-MINUS is more about the scientists--th
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Summary: This graphic novelization of the space race leading up to the moon landing, told from both the Russian and American space program's viewpoints, is tailor-made for the middle school social studies classroom.

Plot: The author takes the historical timelines of both the USSR and the USA's progress toward a moon landing and lays them out side by side. What a great idea! Too often American audiences are not given both sides of the space race. Sure, we got to the moon first, but the Soviets had
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I've worked in news agencies and golf courses in the Chicagoland area, nuclear reactors in the U.S. and Japan, and libraries in Michigan. I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists. When I'm not doing those things, I'm spraining my ankles and flattening my feet by running on trails. Or I'm reading. I read a lot.

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