One Book, One Chicago Fall 2008
After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age
Edited by Martin Collins
Smithsonian Books, 2007
A Ball, a Dog and a Monkey: 1957, the Space Race Begins
By Michael D’Antonio
Simon & Schuster, 2007
By Michael J. Martin
Lucent Books, 2003
Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1: Breaking the Sound Barrier
By Dominick A. Pisano, F. Robert van der Linden, Frank H. Winter; foreword by Chuck Yeager
Deke!: An Autobiography
By Donald K. “Deke” Slayton with Michael Cassutt
Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Science
By Betty Kaplan Gubert, Miriam Sawyer and Caroline M. Fannin
Oryx Press, 2002
Echoes Among the Stars: A Short History of the U.S. Space Program
By Patrick J. Walsh
M.E. Sharpe, 2000
Epic Rivalry: The Inside Story of the Soviet and American Space Race
By Von Hardesty and Gene Eisman
National Geographic, 2007
Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
By Gene Kranz
Simon & Schuster, 2000
For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut
By Scott Carpenter and Kris Stoever
Gemini: Steps to the Moon
By David J. Shayler
Gus Grissom, the Lost Astronaut
By Ray E. Boomhower
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2004
How NASA Learned to Fly in Space: An Exciting Account of the Gemini Missions
By David M. Harland
Apogee Books, 2004
Inside the Space Race: A Space Surgeon’s Diary
By Lawrence E. Lamb
Synergy Books, 2006
Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965
By Francis French and Colin Burgess; with a foreword by Paul Haney
University of Nebraska Press, 2007
Into the Final Frontier: The Human Exploration of Space
By Bernard McNamara
Harcourt College Publishers, 2001
John Glenn: A Memoir
By John Glenn with Nick Taylor
Bantam Books, 1999
Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon
By James Harford
Kosmos, a Portrait of the Russian Space Age
Photographs by Adam Bartos; with an essay by Svetlana Boym
Princeton Architectural Press, 2001
Leap of Faith: An Astronaut’s Journey into the Unknown
By Gordon Cooper with Bruce Henderson
HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Light This Candle: The Life and Times of Alan Shepard, America’s First Spaceman
By Neal Thompson
Crown Publishers, 2004
The New Russian Space Programme: From Competition to Collaboration
By Brian Harvey
The Real Space Cowboys
By Ed Buckbee with Wally Schirra
Apogee Books, 2005
Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age
By Matthew Brzezinski
Times Books, 2007
Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America’s First Women in Space Program
By Margaret A. Weitekamp
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004
Rocket Boys: A Memoir
By Homer H. Hickam
Rocket Man: Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age
By David A. Clary
Sputnik: The Shock of the Century
By Paul Dickson
Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside the U.S.-Russian Space Alliance
By James Oberg
They Had a Dream: The Story of African-American Astronauts
By J. Alfred Phelps
Yeager: An Autobiography
By Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos
Bantam Books, 1985
Unless otherwise noted, these articles are available at all Chicago Public Library locations and from home, school or work with a Chicago Public Library card.
“The Power of The Right Stuff: A Quasi-Experimental Field Test of the Docudrama Hypothesis”
By William C. Adams and others
The Public Opinion Quarterly, v. 49, n. 3 (1985)
The movie and its influence on politics.
Available at all Chicago Public Library locations.
“Hooking Up with Tom Wolfe”
By John Corry
The American Spectator, v. 34, n. 1 (2001)
Tom Wolfe’s life and work.
“U.S. Picks 7 Flyers for Space Journeys”
By Philip Dodd
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 10, 1959
The selection of the Mercury 7 astronauts.
“Tom Wolfe’s Space Odyssey”
By Seymour Krim.
Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1979
How The Right Stuff was reviewed at the time of publication.
“For NASA, ‘The Right Stuff’ Takes on a Softer Tone: Astronauts’ Social Skills, Not Piloting, Now Vital”
By Traci Watson
USA Today, February 4, 2008
The life of an astronaut today.
“Outer Space as Frontier: Lessons for Today”
By Ray A. Williamson
Western Folklore, v. 46, n. 4 (1987)
Space exploration and what it means to society.
Available at all Chicago Public Library locations.
Find detailed biographies of Tom Wolfe, Chuck Yeager and the Mercury 7 astronauts in Biography in Context.
Fiction of Interest
- Escape to what might have been in the alternate history Voyage by Stephen Baxter, in which President Kennedy lives to promote a Mars landing following the Apollo missions.
- Another Baxter speculation is his sequel to Manifold: Time called Manifold: Space, a virtual candy store of scientific puzzles and ideas proposed by the devoted NASA astronaut Reid Malenfant.
- What story planted the seed for Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film, 2001: A Space Odyssey? It’s Arthur C. Clarke’s “Sentinel,” found in The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke.
- Dr. Emma Watson is a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station, desperately trying to stop a deadly epidemic in the medical thriller Gravity by Tess Gerritsen.
- Homer H. Hickam Jr.’s memoir, Rocket Boys, made into the movie October Sky, inspired countless young people to reach for their dreams. Now in Back to the Moon, the former NASA scientist has written a space adventure with lots of solid science, a devoted astronaut in Jack Medaris and plenty of inspiration for the future of space exploration.
- Crazy for the space program, 11-year-old Gregory Noonan skips school on May 24, 1962, and heads to Grand Central Station to watch TV coverage of astronaut Scott Carpenter’s orbits of the earth. Gregory is involved in a life-threatening accident whereby the earthly “orbits” of his too-busy father, a cab driver, a novelist and an elevator operator spin and converge in Aurora 7 by Thomas Mallon.
- James A. Michener embraced the subject of space flight and rocketry, resulting in a saga covering 40 years of America’s space exploration program in his gripping historical novel Space.
- A Russian author’s perspective on the space race, Viktor Pelevin’s Omon Ra is a haunting satire about idealistic Russian boys who dream of becoming cosmonauts, only to face bitter realities in a substandard Soviet space program.
- Space exploration and speculative fiction go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to the colonization of Mars. Author Kim Stanley Robinson is arguably the master storyteller on the subject in Red Mars from his Mars Trilogy.
- Science teacher Jerry Finch wrote an award-winning essay that won him the dream of his life: a trip to the moon with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Jerry’s son Georgie starts getting phone calls from his dad in space in the highly original and moving plot of Gentlemen of Space by Ira Sher.
- In his 1865 science fiction space novel, From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne foretold some features of America’s 20th century moon programs, such as details on rockets and Florida launch sites.
- Evgenii Zamiatin’s futuristic novel We, published in 1920s USSR, introduces the mighty spaceship Integral and its unnamed designer D-503, who is later compared to the similarly unnamed force behind the secretive Soviet space program of the late 1950s.
Kids and Teens
Bravery and exploration have long been the stuff of great stories, from ancient quests to Project Mercury to today, so let these amazing tales guide your imagination up, up and away to the farthest reaches of the universe and inspire you to make a difference in your own world and beyond.
11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System
By David Aguilar
National Geographic, 2008 (Ages 9-13)
Aguilar provides a brilliant update to where we may someday travel, from the Earth to Eris.
Exploring the Solar System
By Mary Kay Carson
Chicago Review Press, 2008 (Ages 9-13)
The dynamic story of the human quest for the stars comes to life with 22 activities that families and classes can share together.
Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life
By Mae Jemison
Scholastic, 2001 (Ages 10 and up)
This Chicagoan broke many barriers on and above Earth to become the first African American woman in space, and here she shares her own inspirational story.
How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?
By William Pogue
Tom Doherty, 1999 (Ages 9 and up)
Everything you ever wanted to know about life beyond Earth’s boundaries is answered here with a very insightful introduction by John Glenn (and he should know).
Liftoff: A Photobiography of John Glenn
By Don Mitchell
National Geographic, 2006 (Ages 9-12)
From pilot to astronaut to senator and back to astronaut, this fascinating biography of an intriguing American is overflowing with photos.
By Steve Kortenkamp
First Facts, 2007 (Ages 7-9)
When NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) became NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) things really started to take off for America.
Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind
By Tara Dixon-Engel
Sterling, 2008 (Ages 10-14)
Instead of a driver’s license, Armstrong received a pilot’s license on his 16th birthday and never looked back until he literally landed on the moon.
By Diane and Paul Sipiera
Children’s Press, 1998 (Ages 8-12)
Here is the true story of the six history-making missions from blast-off to splash down.
Reaching for the Moon
By Buzz Aldrin, illustrated by Wendell Minor
Collins, 2008 (Ages 8-12)
The trajectory of Buzz’s life took him from bike riding to moon walking.
Space Exploration: Careers in Focus
Ferguson, 2007 (Ages 12 and up)
Look here for everything you need to know about how to live your dream of an out-of-this-world career.
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
By Catherine Thimmesh
Houghton Mifflin, 2006 (Ages 9-13)
This book introduces many of the thousands of people who dreamed and worked to help make that historic “one small step for a man.”
By Paul Collicutt
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005 (Ages 4-8)
Rockets that zoom up and splash down fill all of the colorful pages of this perfect book for the youngest space explorers.
Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space
By Jeannine Atkins, illustrated by Duŝan Petričić
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003 (Ages 9-13)
Come meet some of the many women throughout history who, whether as a Wright sister or a flight commander, have taken to the skies.