Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: Destination Moon

We recently finished reading Destination: Moon by James Irwin aloud as a family.  We loved it.  And I now have a child who says he wants to grow up to travel to Mars.

From the publisher:
The exciting and personal account of one of only twelve men to ever touch the surface of the moon! When astronaut James Irwin gazed at the “blue planet,” his home, from the moon in 1971, he realized that the experience was drawing him closer to the God of his youth. After the flight, Irwin realized “the power of God was working in me and I was possessed by a growing feeling that God did have a new mission for me.” This adventurer, who also climbed Turkey’s Mt. Ararat, to look for the remains of Noah’s ark, was a wonderful ambassador not only for his country, but for the “captain of his own ship,” the Lord Jesus Christ. Irwin, wherever he went, used his experiences to draw in his audiences until that moment he was able to share his faith. This dramatic story, set against the backdrop of the vastness of space, highlights the spiritual resources Irwin drew from. His treks through the halls of power, through NASA, and to the adventures that seemed to find him stand as a signpost for all of us.
One of my favorite ways to teach science, especially for elementary ages, is to read biographies of scientists.  There is something about reading these stories -- perseverance, dedication, commitment -- that makes the science the individuals are involved in so much more accessible and fascinating.

This book is listed as being for high school, but I think as a read-aloud, it works for ages much younger than that.  My five year old didn't much care, but my 10, 12 and nearly 14 year olds absolutely loved the book.  The nearly 7 year old was intrigued as well, particularly loving the gorgeous photos.

This autobiographical book was well-written, and compelling.  Getting into the head of someone who actually walked on the moon was pretty incredible, even for me -- and I've never been particularly fascinated by all that space stuff.

I highly, highly recommend this book.  It is a keeper.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  


Unknown said...

As usual, you make me want to get going on my review :). I admit I haven't even opened the book yet, but I have peaked at the Dragon book and wow! I am trying really hard to do my reviews in order of receiving them, but it is really hard to be disciplined sometimes when something gorgeous shows up! Anyway, you are inspiring me to try to read aloud if my breath will allow it.

Debra said...

Amy -- I'm doing mine out of order... I've got a couple stacks going though. One is books for me. One is more curriculum type things. And one is read-alouds. This book (and the Dragon one, reading that now, wow!) made the top of the read-aloud pile, and we needed a new read-aloud... so I got it done quickly. I may be reviewing the Dragon one tomorrow. :)

What I really need to do though, is to work through the "me" pile. I'm FORCING myself to do the oldest two, which are not light reads. Good, but not light.