Is your family going to watch for the Perseid meteor shower on the nights of August 11/12 and 12/13, 2013? If seeing shooting stars sparks an interest in astronomy, our book featured book today, Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More; A History with 21 Activities by Mary Kay Carson, is a wonderful way to add fuel to the fire.
Just as it says in the subtitle, Beyond the Solar System is an amazing history lesson, capturing mini-biographies of many of the key players in the development of our current understanding of space. The reader learns about the contributions of astronomers such as al-Sufi, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Caroline Herschel, and Annie Jump Cannon. Each piece builds on the previous sections.
It also is a thought-provoking overview of the science of astronomy, moving from early observations of constellations to dark energy and dark matter, and beyond. Seeing the discoveries and concepts unfurl against the backdrop of history really helps put them in perspective and makes it easy to understand and remember.
Add in 21 hands-on activities to reinforce learning and you have a truly stellar book!
Chicago Review Press consistently publishes excellent quality books that appeal to kids and adults with a kinesthetic or tactile learning style. Beyond the Solar System will fascinate readers with a wide range of ages including children younger than the suggested age who might enjoy some of the easier projects and then grow with it over the years. It also will serve those with widely different interests, from astronomers to history buffs. You should definitely keep it in mind for Women’s History month because it reveals the contributions of several prominent female astronomers. With such a wide lure and potential usefulness, it definitely deserves a place on the shelf.
See more about the Perseid meteor shower at Growing with Science.
Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (June 1, 2013)
The book was provided by my local library.
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Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.
Today’s round up is at Shelf-employed.