Illustrated by Wyeth Yates
Join ambitious high schooler Nadia and her mentor, ISS Pilot Eleanor, as they discuss the main problems that are face us today in getting a manned mission to Mars. The topic is presented as a conversation between the two with various diagrams and “trips” to the International Space Station, Mars, and others as Eleanor describes the hurdles scientists and engineers have to overcome. Some of the issues include the Rocket Equation, the formula for calculating how much fuel you will need to get the mass of your rocket off the ground, how to keep humans alive in space, how to safely land on Mars, and how to return home, among others.
This is probably one of the most thorough telling of the exact problems stopping us from launching a manned mission to Mars. I learned an incredible amount from this title, and I have a passable knowledge of space flight. However, this was difficult to get through in one sitting because of the density of information. Do not approach this as a normal graphic novel that is consumed all at once. The chapters are broken up into specifics problems and it is highly advised to actually pause for a day or two at each chapter and let your brain digest the information from the previous chapter. It would also be more engaging if it wasn’t just Nadia and Eleanor talking. A lot of concepts are “told” instead of “shown”. The second half of the book has more trips and hands-on things for the characters to do, but I could have used a lot more illustration on the concepts being discussed and less focus on the faces of the characters. The art is less detailed than I would have liked for complicated concepts, leaning a little more cartoony than illustrative.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Novel, Science
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