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Mission Control, This is Apollo

Mission Control, This is Apollo

Mission Control, This is Apollo

This is the story of the Apollo space program. Apollo is the name NASA gave to the missions that put men on the moon.

The book is full of interesting (and funny!) stories about how the space program developed. If you read it you will find out how the scientists, engineers & astronauts figured out how to make everything work.

Since the author interviewed 28 astronauts, the book is full of inside stories based on their memories. Because the words are right from the astronauts you get a really personal sense of what it was like to work on the Apollo project and to be a person that actually walked on the moon. You can read stories that only the astronauts would know.

By telling the story of each Apollo mission, from Apollo 1 to Apollo 17, you can see what they learned each time. For example, at first they were really worried about the astronauts bringing germs back to earth. After the Apollo 11 astronauts brought back space dust that could be tested, the scientists could prove that no germs can live on the moon because of the intense heat, intense cold and radiation from the sun. By Apollo 14, they weren’t worried about moon germs anymore.

The book has lots of diagrams and photos as well as paintings done by Alan Bean, the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 and the fourth man to walk on the moon. After Mr. Bean retired from being an astronaut he became an artist. You can see his pictures for yourself on his website. His paintings are fantastic, plus, he is not painting from his imagaination – he actually saw and walked on the moon.

Don’t miss the Apollo Archive links below to images and audio from the Apollo Missions. Listening to the astronauts’ actual words is really something. The whole group: the scientists, engineers, astronauts…I admire this team of smart, confident team players that could make something like landing on the moon actually happen. Even 40 years later it’s still a marvel. Author: Andrew Chaikin

One other thing…on the book jacket there is a picture taken in April 1969. The picture is of Alan Bean during his training for the Apollo 12 mission. The other person in the picture is a 12 year-old boy, Andrew Chaikin – this book’s author! And now here they are 40 years later writing a book together. I love it when a kid’s dreams come true!

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The Day-Glo Brothers

The Day-Glo Brothers

The Day-Glo Brothers

  • Bob and Joe Switzer were just two boys having fun; riding in airplanes, practicing magic tricks and inventing stuff. They liked to problem solve by thinking up interesting solutions to problems.

Joe liked magic tricks and read in the magazine Popular Science about how ultraviolet lamps, called black lights, made some substances glow in the dark. The brothers made some glow-in-the-dark paint and figured out ways to use them to jazz up Joe’s magic act. Then they figured out something really unique, how to get colors to glow in the daylight –  and a legend was born.

You see day-glo colors all the time now, on signs or in markers or even on clothes, but none of that was possible until Bob and Joe got curious and then got to work. I loved reading about these guys! Author: Chris Barton

  • Read an Interview with the Author, Chris Barton
  • The Day-Glo Brothers Activity and Discussion Guide
  • There are things in nature like flowers and minerals that are fluorescent – these things glow at night. The Switzer brothers figured out how to make things glow in daylight. See How Day-Glo Works.

     

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    Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Demigod Files

    Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Demigod Files

    The Demigod Files

    Here’s a fun book for Percy Jackson fans. Rick Riordan (Senior Scribe, Camp Half-Blood) has compiled “three of Percy Jackson’s most dangerous adventures never before committed to paper” as well as confidential interviews with Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood. Author: Rick Riordan

    I liked the character interviews the best – great questions are asked. Percy, Annabeth and Grover are really put on the spot! For example:

    • Who would you least like to meet in a dark alley – a Cyclops or an angry Mr. D?
    • If you had to trade Riptide for another magic item, whose item would you choose?
    • Of all your Camp Half-Blood friends, who would you most like to have with you in battle?

    Google Look Inside The Demigod Files
    The Demigod Files on CD

    In this video Rick Riordan talks about The Demigod Files:

    And if you are a fan of Percy Jackson, you won’t want to miss this movie trailer – The Lightning Thief movie comes out February 12th, 2010.

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    The Dragons of Ordinary Farm

    The Dragons of Ordinary Farm

    The Dragons of Ordinary Farm

    Lucinda and Tyler are nothing but angry when their mom reveals that she is leaving for the summer. Then an unexpected letter arrives inviting the kids to spend the summer on a distant relative’s farm. How convenient.

    The kids are hustled off to a train station and are soon on their way to the unknown – a place called Ordinary Farm. During the train ride, the kids open a package from the farm and discover a homemade handbook with weird instructions in it like, “It should never be forgotten, even in the most routine tasks of care and feeding, that these animals are large and dangerous. Even a belch from a content cow can throw out a six-foot flame.” Now, I’m a city kid and I know cows don’t breath fire. It turns out this farm Lucinda and Tyler are going to is no ordinary farm.

    And the distant relative, Uncle Gideon, well, he’s no ordinary farmer either. Nor is Ragnar or Mr. Walkwell or Mrs. Needles or any of the other people who live and work on the farm. Uncle Gideon has a very good reason for inviting Lucinda and Tyler to the farm, if only they can figure out what it is. Can you keep a secret? Uncle Gideon hopes Lucinda and Tyler can.

    This one reminds me a little bit of Fablehaven…magical creatures living in a secret place, a brother and sister that need to unravel the secrets of the place and an old relative who has all the answers but doesn’t seem to want to share them all. The book jacket says that this is the authors’ “first” book about Ordinary Farm so I think we’ll be seeing some more. This book lets you know what Ordinary Farm is all about but there are still secrets at the end – questions that will be answered and bad guys to be outwitted in future stories.

    Who doesn’t want what looks to be a summer full of feed buckets and mucking stalls to turn into a summer full of much, much more? Authors: Tad Williams and Deborah Beale

    If it’s dragons you like, try The Dragon of Trelian or Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate or Hatching Magic. Read some good books, get some ideas and then try to draw some. The Dragon Drawing Book will help you get started.
    Dragon of Trelian Timothy and the Dragon's Gate Hatching Magic Drawing Dragons
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    The 39 Clues #4 Beyond the Grave

    The 39 Clues #4 Beyond the Grave

    Beyond the Grave

    Amy and Dan are still hard at work following the 39 clues. (If you haven’t started this series yet read the blog post The 39 Clues #1 Maze of Bones.) This time the clues lead Amy and Dan to places all over Egypt. The kids meet an old friend of their Grandmother’s and some old enemies too – those rotten Cahill relatives just keep turning up. This time the kids really have to decide just how far they should take the advice they were given when they started the clue hunt, “trust no one.” Does that include your Grandmother’s best friend? Does that include…each other? Another fast paced adventure that finds Amy and Dan locked in an ancient tomb. Author: Jude Watson

    Here are books 1-3 and 5…there will be 10 in all.
    The Maze of Bones Once False Note The Sword Thief The Black Circle
    • The 39 Clues #6 In Too Deep comes out November 3, 2009.
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