Godspeed, John Glenn

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Overview

Relive John Glenn's historic ride into space. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn sat strapped into Friendship 7, a small capsule on top of a giant rocket. People from all over the world waited for Mission Control's countdown to lift-off. When the rocket blasted off at Cape Canaveral, Florida, fellow astronaut Scott Carpenter radioed the message "Godspeed, John Glenn." John Glenn had been sent into outer space to become the first American astronaut to orbit the earth. Bold illustrations and informative sidebars tell...

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Overview

Relive John Glenn's historic ride into space. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn sat strapped into Friendship 7, a small capsule on top of a giant rocket. People from all over the world waited for Mission Control's countdown to lift-off. When the rocket blasted off at Cape Canaveral, Florida, fellow astronaut Scott Carpenter radioed the message "Godspeed, John Glenn." John Glenn had been sent into outer space to become the first American astronaut to orbit the earth. Bold illustrations and informative sidebars tell the story of this remarkable adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Richard Hilliard's paean to John Glenn traces the astronaut's life from his childhood dreams of flying, through his service as a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, his peacetime career as a test pilot in the 1950s, to his Friendship 7 orbits of the Earth in 1962, which made him a national hero, and his return to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1998. Emphasis is placed on the Mercury mission, its problems, and its connection to Mission Control on Earth. The book can be read on two levels. The first is the simple narrative of Glenn's life and events as they occur. The second level can be found in the sidebars, which give Glenn's biographical information and more complex explanations of the Friendship 7's construction and operational mechanics. This approach in combination with Hilliard's traditional take on illustration creates a book that can be enjoyed by both younger and older children.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Hilliard follows up his Neil, Buzz, and Mike Go to the Moon (Boyds Mills, 2005) with another sketchy but heartfelt tribute to a space-program milestone. Combining brief, general overviews with details presented in smaller type on side panels, he traces Glenn's fascination with flight from childhood through World War II and the Korean conflict, and then describes NASA's fledgling missions, including that of the chimpanzee Ham, "America's first space celebrity." He climaxes his account with Glenn's journey aboard Friendship 7 and closes with a quick look at the astronaut and politician's later career, including a mention of his 1998 return to space. The Earth visible through the capsule's view port is far too small, but the close-up scenes, rendered in thickly applied acrylics, capture a sense of the mission's drama and triumph. There are no leads to further resources, but readers who want to know more can consult Don Mitchell's Liftoff (National Geographic, 2006), another recent addition to an overflowing shelf of Glenn profiles.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hilliard's biography of John Glenn focuses on his first orbit of the earth in 1962 in Friendship 7, the Mercury capsule, but does briefly mention his early life and history. And on one last double spread, he notes that Glenn "became a prominent U.S. Senator" and even went back into space in 1998. He manages a complicated skein of information by sticking to a straight narrative in very simple language, using sidebars to convey further and more detailed description with stronger vocabulary. The muscular acrylic paintings sometimes have odd edges or finishes; there is one unfortunate image where the astronaut's face is split in two by the page fold. The pictures are dramatic, however, belying the somewhat static text. A way to show very young readers an astronaut story, but Sally Ride's To Space and Back (1986) is much more engaging. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590783849
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,283,931
  • Age range: 8 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.36 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Hilliard is the author and illustrator of Neil, Buzz, and Mike Go to the Moon, an IRA Notable Children’s Book and a James Madison Award nominee.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

    For John Glenn, becoming an astronaut seemed natural. After taking an airplane ride as a small boy, he became a Marine Corps fighter pilot during both World War II and the Korean War. Besides the numerous medals that he won during these wars, including being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on six different occasions, Mr. Glenn grew to love flying even more than he had as a boy. This led to a job as a test pilot for experimental aircraft. <BR/><BR/>It seemed only natural that in 1959 John Glenn was chosen, along with six other men, to form the Mercury Seven--men who would train with NASA to become astronauts. As they withstood the difficult training that they'd need before they could ever enter into space, NASA was busy sending animals, including Ham the chimpanzee, into orbit to test the body's ability to deal with weightlessness and other issues. <BR/><BR/>John Glenn's day finally came on February 20, 1962, when he boarded the Friendship 7 and was shot into space. After orbiting the Earth three times, he was forced to return due to a malfunction aboard his capsule. However, that first man-made orbit into space gave President John F. Kennedy the facts he needed to make a push for a man eventually landing on the Moon. <BR/><BR/>GODSPEED, JOHN GLENN is an excellent illustrated biography, perfect for a middle school library or classroom. For those students interested in space or history, this is a great book from which to gain knowledge of both.

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    Posted November 20, 2009

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