Marty's Mission

An Apollo 11 Story

2019 Kansas State Reading Circle Selection for the Catalog in the Intermediate School Division

It's 1969 and Marty's family lives on the U.S. island of Guam, where his father manages the NASA tracking station. It's important work and never more so than during the Apollo 11 space mission, where the tracking station relays signals back and forth between the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas. Along with the rest of the world, Marty listens to every mission update, including the historic landing on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong's first steps. But during Apollo 11's return to Earth, something goes wrong. There is a problem with the tracking station's antenna during the final hours of the mission. The problem must be resolved--the antenna is the only way Mission Control can communicate with the astronauts before Apollo 11 splashes down. Marty finds himself playing a key role in helping bring the craft safely back to Earth. Based on actual events, young readers get a front-row seat to this historic event in this new entry in the Tales of Young Americans series.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$17.99 $17.99
$29.99 $29.99
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey FIC
Lexile 790L
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level O
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534110144), PDF (9781534138346), Hosted ebook (9781534138483)
Copyright 2019
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • Kansas State Reading Circle Selection for the Catalog in the Intermediate School Division, Short-listed, 2019

Kirkus Reviews - Marty's Mission: An Apollo 11 Story

Marty’s Mission is about the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 told through the eyes of Marty, the son of a man managing the NASA Tracking Station in Guam. The time difference does not affect Marty as he stays up to hear about the launch and watch the landing the next day, all while eagerly awaiting to see Apollo 11 return to Earth. After the Tracking Station’s bearings become stuck, it’s up to Marty to grease them up enough to ensure adequate communication and a safe landing for the astronauts on board. Thankfully, a crisis is averted thanks to Marty. Told with vivid detail and accompanying illustrations, this entertaining story about a young boy’s role in space history also gives a good overview of the Apollo 11 moon mission. There are plenty of stories about the men who landed on the moon, but not a lot is written for children about what the time was like back on Earth or even what complications arose during the mission. The artwork portrays the cool evenings, detailed space transmission parts, and stressful mission that Marty has to undertake in order to save the day. VERDICT An excellent purchase for elementary school collections.

Author: Judy Young

Judy Young remembers writing a poem for her grandmother when she was about ten. Her grandmother encouraged her to keep writing, and Judy did! Judy is the author of over two dozen children’s picture books and novels, including, Promise, The Wild World of Buck Bray series and the Digger and Daisy series. Judy’s books are used extensively in the public schools and have received numerous awards and honors. One of her most cherished is hearing LeVar Burton read A Pet for Miss Wright for Reading Rainbow Storytime Video to celebrate National Reading Month. Another, was watching as R is for Rhyme, A Poetry Alphabet was performed by the University of Utah’s Creative Dance Program.

Judy received her MA in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Tulsa and formerly worked in the public schools for 20 years. Now, a frequent speaker at schools, children’s lit fests and professional educational conferences nationwide, Judy’s firsthand experience in the schools makes her programs not only entertaining, but directly related to school curriculum.

Judy resides in the mountains near Mink Creek, Idaho, with her husband, Ross, a professional artist, who illustrated two of Judy’s books. In her spare time, Judy enjoys hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, and gallivanting around the country in “Arlo,” the Young’s traveling studio. Read more about Judy, her books and author visits to schools at

Illustrator: David Miles

David Miles has been blessed to illustrate for many amazing publishers. He has worked on numerous children’s books, book covers, magazine articles, puzzles, games, and more Bible stories than he can easily count. David is currently working full-time as an illustrator and is probably drawing right now! You can see more of his work at

  • Beginning of Text
  • Author's Note
Author/Illustrator biography
Educational front/back matter
Teaching guides
Full-color illustrations