The Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11’s Third Man by Alex Irvine, illustrated by Ben Bishop

  The Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11’s Third Man by Alex Irvine, illustrated by Ben Bishop, Tilbury House, 2017. 9780884484523

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? When I think of Apollo 11, I think of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. Michael Collins was the third man on that mission, and, although his role was less visible, his role was crucial. This non fiction graphic novel illustrates the components of the Apollo 11 voyage, and Collins’s responsibilities during the mission, and places it in the context of the space race.  Black, white and purple illustrations in panels placed in a scrapbook-like frame, on a black background, give the feel of an official handbook on space exploration. The information is accessible, with enough detail to satisfy space travel aficionados. Even though the reader knows the outcome of Apollo 11’s journey to the moon, the author manages to create tension in his description of the stressful background work performed by Collins in support of the mission. Back matter includes a timeline of space exploration and materials for further reading.

To whom would you recommend this book? Non fiction readers interested in space should love this book, especially fans of Ottaviani’s T-Minus: The Race to the Moon. It is detailed enough to be useful for school reports.

Who should buy this book? Elementary, middle, high school and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it ? Non fiction graphic novels, 629.45.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, it’s an interesting read, even if you’re not a science-y type!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: July 27, 2017

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