Monday, October 29, 2018

Back on Earth: A Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to Bridgett Bell Langson who won, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl.

"I wrote BACK ON EARTH: When Men First Landed on the Moon in anticipation of the fiftieth Apollo Eleven anniversary in 2019," North Carolina author Gretchen Griffith said. "I wanted today's young readers to understand how significant this event was to the children who witnessed it."

Illustrated by Bobbie Gumbert, this non-fiction picture book for elementary school students invites readers to participate in the experience. Here is the opening paragraph: 
Two of us landed on the moon July 20, 1969. Those of us back on earth stared into the sky. "Was the moon any different?" we wondered. 
Gretchen used the first person plural to emphasize that, "This story is much bigger than my personal reflections. It is a story about a world-wide corporate experience." In choosing that unique point of view, she aligns those watching the launch, the landing, and the recovery with the astronauts who made history plus implies that the reader is also part of the historic event. 

"Those of us at the launch site felt the ground tremble under our feet. We saw birds rousted from their nests."

In BACK ON EARTH there is a great juxtaposition of ordinary events along with what was going on in outer space:
While we waited [for the landing], we played space games. We designed helmets with tin foil and pretended we were astronauts. We pretended we could fly like birds. We strapped thermos jugs to our backs for make-believe air tanks...We mixed orange flavored powder in glasses of water and sipped the same tangy drink as the astronauts. 

After three long days of waiting, the Eagle landed!
"That's one small step for man,
One giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong

Gretchen included a list of YouTube titles, a glossary, and information on how to interview others who witnessed the moon landing with the hopes that "this will start the conversation between generations."

Just in case you want to watch (or re-watch) the landing, YouTube offers this:

GIVEAWAY: Leave me a comment by November 1 with your email address if you are new to my blog. Gretchen will send the winner a personally autographed book. US addresses only. 


Linda Phillips said...

Way to line up with the current events, Gretchen. I heard a special on this anniversary on NPR just the other day. Congrats and I'm sure the schools will love this.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I remember watching the landing and hearing Neil Armstrong's words and I was an awestruck 18 year old!
Thanks for sharing.
Connie cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

Sandra Warren said...

Great concept! Most other books focus and will focus on the moon landing itself. Kids will appreciate learning what was going on back on earth. This approach is sure to open up conversations with grandparents and aunts and uncles about the event.

Congratulations Gretchen on a creative approach to a world event. Love the idea.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Sandra, Connie, and Linda. You're all in!

Rosi said...

This is a great idea for a picture book. Youngsters should know about that. Thanks for the review. I will pass on the drawing.

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
Thank you for telling us all about Gretchen's Back on Earth book. I love the third person approach to include all of mankind in the landing on the moon. The illustrations are cute. I love that Gretchen told all the things children did while waiting for the event to happen.I'd be honored if I won the free autographed copy of this book. Thanks for offering it as a giveaway.

Never Give Up

Carol Baldwin said...

You and your grandkids would love this book, JOan. You're in!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
Thank you very much.

Never Give Up

Vijaya said...

Very cool! My brother was obsessed--we were back in India and he was glued to the radio. I think he might have feigned illness so that he could stay home :)

Grannyjo said...

What a wondrous event this was and we watched it on TV! When I was growing up we had a teacher who talked about microwaves phones with TVs, and a man on the moon. We marveled and couldn’t believe it. Do children today have that same sense of wonder? What a story to share!
Jo Lynn

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