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Astronaut Al Travels to the Moon by Al Worden with Francis French, Illustrations by Michelle Rouch
Quest Volume: 28 #2 (2021)
Children’s books have a profound effect on society. Many adults have cited a favorite book or movie as their personal inspiration for their decision to pursue an academic or professional path.
As an academic peer-reviewed journal, Quest does not make a habit of reviewing books for young adults. In fact, it has done so only once previously—a review of MoonShot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca appeared in Volume 20:3. But like that title, Astronaut Al Travels to the Moon, not only tells a story but features some amazing illustrations that will entice many of Quest’s readership as well.
Astronaut Al Worden (Apollo 15) worked with space historian Francis French and illustrator Michelle Rouch to create Astronaut Al Travels to the Moon. It was his hope that this book would inspire children to pursue an education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Though a project that Al had mentioned he was interested in doing for years, finding the right illustrator and publisher took some time. After being approached by Francis French at a fundraising event, Ms. Rouch, quickly accepted the task; with the book being completed shortly before Al’s untimely passing.
The book itself features the unique perspective of Al Worden’s experience along with 13 unique and colorful illustrations; images that depict the essence of a poem he had written.
Having known both Al and Michelle, her selection for this project should not be a surprise to anyone who knows her and has seen her work. A senior defense sector engineer by day, she is also a professional artist who is active with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society of Aviation Artists, and the International Association of Astronautical Artists.
Al believed his poetry, like Michelle hopes her art, could capture the emotions of people living and thriving in an aerospace world on Earth and beyond.
About the Book
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Title: Astronaut Al Travels to the Moon
Author: Al Worden with Francis French
Illustrator: Michelle Rouch
Publisher: BookPress Publishing
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