Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon

Ages: 10 - 14Publisher: Peachtree Publishers Author: Suzanne SladeIllustrator: Thomas Gonzalez


This book originated with President John F. Kennedy, who, in 1961, famously and historically challenged the nation to “commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” It took 2,979 days from President Kennedy’s speech for astronaut Neil Armstrong’s to proclaim his now famous “giant leap for mankind” phrase.

Almost six decades later, comes this fascinating chronicle that, by blending striking free verse with dream-like and life-like illustrations and photos, tells the story of one of humankind’s most amazing achievements — America’s challenging and successful effort to land the first man on the Moon and bring him home safely.

The full-color NASA archival photographs on these pages are as dizzying and eye-locking as space. And, yet, the design of this book is carefully done to make difficult concepts accessible to young readers. The story encompasses the failures, tragedies, triumphs, lessons learned and ultimate success of the mission from Apollos 1 through 10 that laid the exploratory groundwork of the first Moon landing.

This well-researched and artistically rendered account comes in advance of the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk. It’s good timing for a true story that encompasses the mindboggling scale and historical meaning of an undertaking like landing the first man on the Moon.

Don Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice


A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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