13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar
Reading level: Middle Grade
Summary: Explains the most recent view (2011) of the planets in our solar system, with eight planets in the classical sense and five dwarf planets. Includes information on some of the moons, as well. Activities in the back, such as compare your weight on different planets and build a model solar system using objects from a grocery bag.
Illustrations: Space art by the author
Comments: The art in this book is beautiful. Along with the description of each planet is a sidebar about where the name came from and what its name means, giving a nice history lesson. The activities are age appropriate and fun.
Compatible fiction: science fiction fans might enjoy The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr by Isaac Asimov
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 8, 2011)
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 the new Nonfiction Monday blog to see who is hosting each week.
Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble: Fun Projects for Curious Kids by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen
Series: Edge Books: Kitchen Science
Reading level: Middle grade (Ages 9-12) plus
Summary: Directions for eleven science projects that can be done easily at home, with readily available products. Examples are making orange “soda” with orange juice and baking soda. Each project ends with “Why It Works” to explain the science behind the activity.
Illustrations: Color photographs
Comments: The fun and energetic writing style makes you want to jump in and try each one. The projects are often given a little twist to make them unique from other similar projects you might have seen elsewhere. The instructions are clear and the photographs are helpful. Would work for upper elementary and beyond.
Although you don’t need to add to this book, you might want to include the projects in a chemistry day party or gathering