GRAPHIC NOVELS

Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight

Hill and Wang. Jun. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9780374537913. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781466899360. Rated: Teen+. SCI
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Fetter-Vorm (Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb) employs a keen eye for detail that captures pivotal moments and technological breakthroughs into telling graphic images in an account that effectively intercuts two stories: the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon and the centuries of lunar myth-making, romanticizing, and scientific inquiry that led up to it. Following a large cast of characters over many years, the narrative stays on track with good pacing and well-chosen dialog. A more inclusive and nuanced portrait of the space race emerges from these pages, including the Soviet perspective, the women computer programmers of NASA, and the push for an all-female astronaut program. A bibliography documents the sources for direct quotes and photo references. Although covering some of the same ground as Don Brown’s Rocket to the Moon! Big Ideas That Changed the World, this work is aimed at an older audience and digs deeper into the overarching story of lunar discovery.
VERDICT A well-paced yet deep look at the path that led to the first man on the moon, including the early lunar myths, philosophies and fantasies that predated it. Appropriate for those interested in the history of space flight and 20th-century culture. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

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