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Apollo: Missions and Myths

“Houston, we’ve had a problem” were words that pierced the hearts of many Americans. It had been over a year since Apollo 8 reached the moon on Christmas Eve, 1968, but we were taking space travel for granted already. We managed it once; we can do it again. No problem. Then those fateful words. Check out the DVD Apollo 13 to see a rather realistic version of our possible disaster. Or read the biography of James Lovell, one of the astronauts rescued on that space flight.

Earlier, Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Check out his biography by Shannon Zemlicka. Or read about many of the Apollo flights in Woodford’s Moon Missions. Four DVD discs give a documentary style view of our manned and unmanned flights into space on When We Left Earth.

In the Shadow of the Moon DVD examines the inspirations, ambitions, personalities, and experiences of the people at the heart of America's race to beat the Soviets into space from 1965 to 1969, using their experiences to chronicle the most challenging and exciting years in spaceflight.

It wasn’t all smooth going. Read the details in Gus Grissom: Tragedy of Apollo 1 which tells of this astronaut dying in a fire on the ship that would have taken him to the moon. The Story of the Challenger Disaster gives young teens an idea of what happened when the space shuttle blew up, killing everybody aboard, while their families watched below.

NASA didn’t invent the name Apollo. Apollo was a Greco/Roman god who threatened from afar. Even the other gods feared him. Some say he was the god of the sun. Author Rick Riordan wrote a series Trials of Apollo for young people. In The Hidden Oracle, Apollo angers his father Zeus and is cast down from Olympus. He must learn to survive in the modern world until he can find a way to regain Zeus's favor. In the second book The Dark Prophecy, a disgraced Apollo leaves the safety of the training ground and embarks on a quest across North America to find a dangerous ancient-world Oracle. It’s very exciting.

Check out the juvenile mythology section to read the stories about the Greek gods who lived on Olympus but interfered with mortals on earth. Many gods left progeny in their wake, sons and daughters who grew up to become heroes in their own right. The D’Aulaires wrote and illustrated a nice version for reading aloud to your family. Edith Hamilton wrote an older Mythology with lots more detail, mandatory in every library.

We can’t count how many movies were made based on Greek mythology. Clash of the Titans, Hercules, Troy, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to name a few.

Enjoy your holiday with movies and books from the Jamestown Library. Merry Christmas from the staff and volunteers.

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