Notable Non-Fiction- Trailblazers: Neil Armstrong- First Man on the Moon – Alex Woolf illustrators: Luisa Uribe, George Ermos and Nina Jones.

Continuing my Space themed non-fiction books in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Of The Apollo 11 Mission on 20th July here is something really great for 8 & up ideal for someone who wants to know the history and the human experience of the Space Race.

This book is excellent as a biography of the life and experiences in Space of Neil Armstrong becoming the First human to walk on the Moon, which of course as Apollo 11 is the mission being commemorated this month as the 50th Anniversary so perfect for children to get a human perspective of the mission as much as the science and legacy.

Inspiring on so many levels.

Trailblazers Neil Armstrong
Cover illustrations by Luisa Uribe and George Ermos

This book covers not just the Apollo 11 mission but the events, actions and experiences that led to Neil Armstrong actually taking those steps from his childhood in Ohio to his death and legacy so we get a picture of the man who was Neil Armstrong.

From his childhood passions, his adventures with the scouts and how he helped build model airplanes that were sent to the AirForce during World War II to help identify enemy and friendly aircraft we get a sense of the fact that flight and airplanes were a passion from the beginning.

From his time in the Air Force we see his daring and courage, and cool head under extreme conditions in the Korean War that made him an ideal candidate to go into Space, a truly unknown destination that was always a Chance never to return from.

Neil Armstrong
Photo courtesy of NASA

Through details of his studying and work as an aeronautical engineer that led him to NASA selection and the missions and training that came before Apollo 11 and the mission itself we see the serious hardworking quick thinking problem solving side of the man especially involving a felt tip pen!!

But we also see a the man behind the legend, we read of him falling in love, having children and sadly losing his daughter to childhood cancer allows us to see the real man behind the legend along with the ways he dealt with his fame after the mission we see just how humble and surprisingly down to Earth he was for a man whose name shall be in history books for a long time to come for monumental achievement.

Internal illustrations by Nina Jones

What I particularly like about this biography is that punctuating occurrences, events and actions in his life are boxes or pages detailing facts, personalities, inventors all that help understand how we got from the Wright Brothers First Flight to the Moon and then explaining things such as the Korean War in which Armstrong served as a pilot. These asides help give a richer understanding of the changes, circumstances, inventions and catalysts that led toward this achievement giving a deeper knowledge than simply a breakdown of facts about the Apollo 11 mission.

This is a series I could definitely get behind as a former History teacher, and delighted to know there’s more in the series. In particular, this would certainly be a book I would have requested the school library to stock – and no doubt have used it in my teaching. I look forward to exploring this with Littlefae when she’s a little older!

Trailblazers: Neil Armstrong- First Man on the Moon by Alex Woolf illustrators: Luisa Uribe, George Ermos and Nina Jones is published by Stripes. Thank you so much to Stripes for the review copy this has not affected my opinion.

This post is linking up to Book Worms Monthly hosted by At Home A Lot a link open throughout each month to share bookish posts 💜
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