Team Moon
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Catherine Thimmesh
Catherine Thimmesh
author's website
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Team Moon, page from the book

Here is a rare perspective on a story we only thought we knew. For Apollo 11, the first moon landing, is a story that belongs to many, not just the few and famous.

It belongs to the seamstresses who put together 22 layers of fabric for each space suit. To the engineers who created a special heat shield to protect the capsule during its fiery re-entry.

It belongs to the flight directors, camera designers, software experts, suit testers, aerospace technicians, photo-developers, engineers, and navigators.

Gathering direct quotes from some of these remarkable people who worked behind the scenes, author Catherine Thimmesh reveals their very human worries and concerns. Culling NASA transcripts, national archives, and stunning NASA photos from Apollo 11, she captures not only the sheer magnitude of this feat, but also the dedication, ingenuity, and perseverance of the 400,000 people who worked to first put man on that great gray rock in the sky.

1.   How often do you look up at the moon and wonder what it's like? NASA worked very hard back in the 1960s to send a rocket ship to the moon and have an astronaut walk on the surface of the moon. Before or after you read the book, tell a story out loud about your trip to the moon and what you find there.
2.   Catherine Thimmesh thought about all the people it took to send that rocket ship to the moon. If you worked at NASA, which jobs would you like to do?
3.   Are you a worryer? In Team Moon, Catherine Thimmesh tells us about the worries the various project participants had. How did those people work to solve their challenges and allay their worries?
4.   Pick any project you'd like, such as laying the cross-country railroad tracks or creating the electric light bulb or inventing the television or creating the first Oreo cookie. Can you imagine the team members who worked on these projects behind the scenes? Make a list (be both serious and silly) and then do some research to find out more about these projects.
5.   Catherine Thimmesh is an excellent storyteller. She helps us understand the excitement, anxiety, and challenges about taking a rocket and astronauts to the Moon and back. Can you find particular sentences in the story she tells that help us feel those same emotions? How can you make use of her skills when you tell your own stories?
When your child has finished reading Team Moon, be sure to check off this book on your booklist, moving towards reading 12 books or 18 books this summer. You can register for a mile marker, our random drawing for several levels of giveaways.
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