Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? This top-notch information source often sounds like a travel brochure touting the wonders of the celestial worlds it describes. The seven wonders covered here are: Mars, Saturn’s rings, Europa, Titan, Pluto and Charon, and Planet Nine. For the seventh wonder, readers are reminded to look to our own Earth and Moon. The author is enthusiastic about his topic and makes every effort to convey his fascination to young readers. Frequent comparisons to earthly phenomenon make the information easier to understand, “Compare this [Earth’s deepest ocean trench] to Europa’s colossally deep ocean and something startling is revealed.” Numerous dramatic illustrations add to the appeal and clarify concepts in the text.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I was disappointed that credits aren’t listed for the images that appear throughout the book. Some appear to be photos; most appear to be computer-generated images, but except for a few items that list their source, there is no way to tell.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to middle school students for browsing and report writing.
Who should buy this book? Purchasing astronomy-related books can feel like a no-win situation given that there seem to be new discoveries made and reported almost daily. However, this one is well-worth adding to collections in middle school libraries and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve with other solar system books in 523.2
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, top half of the pile.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 7/8/17