The Apollo Program: The History and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Space Missions

Written by Charles River Editors


I have read several historical collections by Charles River Editors and have found them informative and useful, particularly for younger audiences. In my opinion, this one was a bit disappointing.

The book is jammed packed with information about every aspect of the Apollo Program focusing mostly on the Apollo I disaster, Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. But that strength is also its weakness. In many sections of the book, one feels as if she is reading a textbook. In an effort to present an accurate picture, the reader becomes lost in a sea of technical information.

The biographical sketches of the astronauts proved interesting as well as the tie in with the Cold War and the space race with the Soviets. The discussion of how NASA decided on spacecraft design and the team effort of government and private sectors is interesting for any reader. Most of the Charles River Editions are geared toward middle grade and young adult readers, but I think this one will turn most of that audience away. The diagrams and photos are an asset, but most readers will lose interest in the myriad of details. If the book had been written more as a story and less as a cut and paste collection of facts, it would merit a higher rating. The graphic detail of the Apollo I accident is too overwhelming for readers under age ten. Recommended especially for readers who have a definite interest in space science.

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