Category: Children’s Book
Reviewed by: Marianne Dyson
Title: Reaching for the Moon
Author: Buzz Aldrin
Illustrator: Wendell Minor
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
NSS Amazon link for this book
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 40
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: 2005
Retail Price: $16.99
ISBN: 0060554452

Reaching for the Moon captures the spirit of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a genuine American hero who shows by the example of his life how to pursue dreams with determination, strength, and persistence.

Gorgeous illustrations by Wendell Minor compliment the biographical story of Aldrin’s first flight and early adventures. My favorite is the painting of a young Buzz clutching a bucket of special rocks despite them dragging him underwater. The astronaut explains, “I knew that if something was important to you, you had to hold on.”

Though many of us are familiar with Dr. Aldrin through National Space Society conferences or books on Apollo, this biography offers new insights into the character of a man who idolized the Lone Ranger, excelled at the Air Force Academy, was a fighter pilot during the Korean war, and was ultimately chosen for the crew of the first human landing on the Moon.

Students tasked to write a book report on a biography will especially appreciate the timeline of Aldrin’s life and major flight milestones up through 2004 included in the back of the book.

Parents in need of a patriotic role model to promote need look no further than Buzz Aldrin. He confidently assures children everywhere that they can grow up to do great things. In the conclusion, he writes, “Not everyone can explore space. But we all have our own moons to reach for. If you set your sights high, you may accomplish more than you ever dreamed was possible. Just as I did.”

Reaching for the Moon is an easy book to read once, and the illustrations and message make it one to read again and again. I highly recommend it for aspiring moonwalkers of all ages.

© 2006 Marianne Dyson

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