T-Minus: The Race to the Moon Jim Ottaviani illus. Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon
For full disclosure, I went to college with Kevin Cannon (technically, Zander, too, but I don't know him.) When this book first came in at the library, I might have shouted rather loudly, "HOLY **** Zander and Kevin have a book!" Luckily, I was in my office and not out where the kids could hear me.
T-Minus is a graphic novel that tells the story of the space race, from both American and Russian sides. Its focus is on the engineers and craft designers, not the astronauts, which is a different perspective than we usually get. Lots of science and politics while still being easy for a middle grader to understand while not dumbing down the material. I especially liked the look at what each side knew about what the other was doing.
There's been a spate of excellent space books for middle grade that have come out in the last few years, and this is a great fiction addition to them.
Also, I am SO GLAD they made this fiction instead of non. I could see this being marketed as a nonfiction book, but there's an author's note that clearly says what's real and what isn't (like the fact that a few people get combined into one person for clarity, or some scenes and thoughts were invented to fully tell the story.) There's also a some wonderful suggestions for further reading, fiction and non, graphic novel and non, as well as movies and websites. But, STILL FICTION! Huzzah! I worry about the trend we've seen where we tell a fact filled narrative that is still a story and call it nonfiction instead of the historical fiction it more accurately is. And then REWARD such behavior. (We Are the Ship, I'm looking at YOU)
So, the verdict is, T-Minus is awesome.
Book Provided by... my local library
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