In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden History of the Space Race

Amy Cherrix. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-288875-4
This comprehensive narrative nonfiction chronicle reveals the personalities and machinations behind the space race, which ended in 1969 with the moon landing. Cherrix (Backyard Bears) introduces the two “brilliant but controversial” rocket scientists who shaped the contest: former Nazi and SS officer Werhner von Braun, whom America brought from Germany to spearhead the U.S. program in a post-WWII mission called Operation Paperclip; and Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, a former innocent “traitor” forced into Gulag camps, whom Stalin rehabilitated and charged with developing the Russian effort. The text documents how a quest for weapons transformed into space initiatives culminating in the moon walk, and reveals national secrets on both sides, such as how the U.S. side concealed von Braun’s Nazi past, and how the Russian side tricked German engineers into moving to the U.S.S.R. Mock “Intelligence Dossiers” consolidate complicated facts, such as the range and payload capacity of the groundbreaking Redstone rocket, “the first large-scale missile powered by liquid fuel.” Black-and-white photos throughout include a Cold War duck-and-cover drill at a 1950s school. This rousing history testifies to both the romance and cost of technological advancement. Back matter includes meticulous bibliography and endnotes, plus an index. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/27/2021
Release date: 02/09/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-288877-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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