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Children's Nonfiction Discoveries


Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World

by (author) James Gladstone

illustrated by Christy Lundy

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Oct 2018
Discoveries, 20th Century, Astronomy, Media Studies
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: 2 to 5


1968 was a year of unrest: many nations were at war. People marched for peace, fairness, and freedom. At the same time, the Apollo 8 crew was about to go farther into space than anyone had gone before—to the moon.

As they surveyed the moon’s surface, astronauts aboard Apollo 8 looked up just when Earth was rising out of the darkness of space. They saw the whole planet—no countries, no borders. The photograph they took, Earthrise, had a profound effect when published widely back on Earth, galvanizing the environmental movement, changing the way people saw our single, fragile home planet, and sparking hope during a year of unrest.

This important and timely picture book is publishing to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, telling the story behind the photograph, both inside the spaceship and back on Earth. Text includes dialogue pulled from NASA’s Apollo 8 transcript, drawing readers into the iconic moment Earth was photographed from space. An author’s note at the end explains more about the photograph, the Apollo 8 mission, and how Earthrise went on to inspire Earth Day.

About the authors

JAMES GLADSTONE is an author of picture books for children, including When Planet Earth Was New, Earthrise, and Turtle Pond, which won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. James’ latest book, Journey Around the Sun, follows Halley’s Comet on its travels through the ages. James lives in Toronto, Ontario.


James Gladstone's profile page

CHRISTY LUNDY enjoys exploring the relationship between characters and their environment in her work. She designs locations and creates background paintings for children’s animated shows, as well as doing editorial illustrations for a wide variety of clients. Earthrise is her first children’s book. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Christy Lundy's profile page


  • Unknown, A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Express Nonfiction Award

Editorial Reviews

“[This] book will help children appreciate their shared history and their home planet of earth.”

Resource Links

“Earthrise is a book to read repeatedly. Every portion of this space flight, especially the Earthrise photograph, is presented with excellence by weaving facts into a beautiful narrative and depicting its history vividly in illustrations.”

Librarian's Quest

“Earthrise is especially important now, in a time where the world feels more divided than ever.”

Inspired by Savannah

"For any fan of Earth."

Kirkus Reviews - STARRED REVIEW

"A fine snapshot of a milestone event in U.S. and world history for robust nonfiction picture book collections."

School Library Journal

"This book ought to act as a kind of appetizer for readers who want to dig a little deeper into the early days of space travel."

Quill & Quire

"Readers will enjoy learning about astronauts and outer space by reading this uplifting book."

School Library Connection

"Earthrise captures an inspiring moment of space travel and should be included in all library and personal collections."

Canadian Review of Materials

"A star-bright account of space exploration."


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