How the Meteorite Got to the Museum

Given that one of my family’s favorite TV shows used to be Meteorite Men, I knew I had to take a look at How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland. In her usual lightly humorous style Hartland reveals how a piece of the Peekskill meteorite ended up on display at the American Museum of Natural History.

meteorite-to-museumFirst, what exactly is a meteorite? TV watching pays off because I can tell you that a meteorite is a hunk of space rock that actually falls to earth. A meteor, on the other hand, is a hunk of space rock or dust that burns up in the atmosphere before it reaches the surface (also known as a shooting star). Note: the book’s coverage of the term meteor is as Winnie the Pooh might say, “A bit wobbly.”

The meteorite in the book was quite unusual because when it landed, it struck a car in Peekskill, New York.  It turns out that some people at a sporting event saw it and were able to film the meteorite falling to earth. Here is an example of some footage from that night:

This book is the third in a series in which Hartland uses a cumulative story technique borrowed from “The House that Jack Built.” Here she explains where the meteorite came from, who saw it, and what the owner of the car did when she discovered the damage, etc. Read carefully, however, because although the sequence of previous events repeats in each two-page spread as you would expect, the verbs change a bit, adding interest.

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum is one of those special books that can be used in a number of ways. Of course it would be ideal for units on the solar system, as well as earth science. It would also hop right over to language arts for a lesson in story structure or verbs. Don’t forget art, because Hartland’s energetic illustrations will be a source of discussion and inspiration. It also begs to be used to accompany a trip to a museum. Finally, it stands alone as a tale that children are going to find intriguing. Try out a copy today!


A review and activities related to Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by author and illustrator Jessie Hartland here at Wrapped in Foil

Lively interview showing illustrations coming together at Pen and Ink

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Blue Apple Books (October 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1609052528
ISBN-13: 978-1609052522

Disclosure: This book was originally obtained for review electronically from Edelweiss, although I finished the review using a copy from my local public library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.