Monday, March 19, 2012

All About Space Books: Part 1

Today starts the first of a 2-part series on books about space. Today, the books are about our solar system and other objects in outer space. Next month (after 2 weeks of Easter books) there will be books about space travel and the stars. Many of these books are written at middle school reading levels. ALL of them have outstanding illustrations.

Destination: Jupiter by Seymour Simon
On December 7, 1995, the spacecraft Galileo arrived at Jupiter to uncover some of its mysteries. Circling around the planet, Galileo sent back to Earth lots of new information, including photographs of the surface of Jupiter and its moons. Seymour Simon studies these and other recent discoveries about Jupiter. As with all Simon books, this is a beautiful book with amazing pictures.
A few more space books by Simon:
Destination: space
Our solar system
Comets, meteors, and asteroids

11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar [2008]
For many years, it was understood there were 9 planets. Now scientists are changing how they look at planets. This book explains the new system of understanding planets.
13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar [2011]
In just 3 years, the author needed to update his original book. Scientists who study space have learned there are more bodies in space that need to be considered planets. Their view now is that there are 8 regular planets and 5 dwarf planet.
Note: The second book contains a lot of the same information as the first book, plus information on the new planets. If you are really into space study, you might want to look at both of these books. Otherwise, the 2011 book is probably the one you want.

When is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto by Elaine Scott
This book explains in a different way how progress in technology has changed our understanding of the universe. It gives a lot of the background history. It doesn’t deal with the all the new dwarf planets but it does talk about how Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet. There is also an audio book version, which I think would be quite nice.

The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
Although this book is a little old, it still contains lots of information about the moon. It explains the phases of the moon quite clearly, plus how the moon affects Earth.

Black Holes by Dana Meachen Rau
I must admit I’ve had a tough time understanding black holes. This book is the first to make it clear to me. I think I’ve got it! Rau has also written books about the planets, constellations and space travel in her Our Solar System series.

A Black Hole is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, illustrated by Michael Carroll
This book offers a lot more information than the one above. It's also clearly written and goes into more depth. If black holes fascinate you, then you'll definitely want to check out this book.

About Space by Jana Carson
This book is part of the We Both Read series. In this series, the text on the left page is at a higher reading level and the right page is at a lower reading level (about 2nd grade), giving a parent and child a chance to read a book together. About Space is full of information about space and has clear photographs to support the text.

Asteroids by Derek Zobel (sorry, no link was available)
Asteroids provide lots of clearly-written basic information with excellent pictures and photos. It’s part of the Blastoff! Readers space series. This Level 3 series has at least 17 other books in it.

If you are a fan of space books, I bet you already know some good ones. Please write their titles in the Comments Box!

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