Books by Sally Ride

CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2009

The authors of the classic Third Planet (1994) narrow their focus to examine the Earth's oxygen and carbon cycles, and how human monkeying with them has created troubling signs of a destabilized climate. The narrative's tone is less alarmist than most recent looks at global warming, but still threaded with lively language—"As the mouse digests the leaf, our carbon atom is yanked off the sugar molecule and two oxygen atoms are plunked on it"—and well stocked with both recent scientific findings and big, clear color photos. Photo captions nicely provide additional information that expands on the argument provided by the primary text: Beneath a close-up of a very photogenic pika, the caption reads, "if the temperature rises above 31°C…even for an hour they will die." The topic is getting plenty of attention elsewhere, but this cogently argued, handsomely packaged companion to the easier and more activity-oriented Mission: Save the Planet (2009) will leave readers understanding just why it would be a good idea to be concerned. (index, resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-13)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2009

"Switch. Conserve. Make some noise." Building on this sturdy, strategic framework, the ex-astronaut and her longtime writing collaborator present budding eco-activists with a range of suggestions designed to spark a "go green" mindset at home and in school. With exceptions, such as perfunctory directions for starting a vegetable garden in containers or creating some domestic pressure to save water by timing everyone's showers, the tips for saving energy and natural resources are reasonably doable—and the authors usually explain in general terms the potential benefits of each. Illustrated with simple line drawings of young people in action, and featuring simple surveys, checklists and a sample letter, this makes a worthy addition to the plethora of similar handbooks. Mission: Planet Earth (2009) shares both authors and publication date, but addresses an older audience and takes a more theoretical look at the potential hazards of unwise energy management. (Nonfiction. 9-11) Read full book review >
NATURE
Released: July 1, 1992

Astronaut/scientist Ride teams up with a science teacher for a book about the Voyager spacecrafts' epic journeys. During them, they passed close enough to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune to take detailed pictures and measurements; the result is a wealth of new information (especially about the planets' rings and moons), gorgeous color photos, and some scientific puzzles. Aimed at younger children than Harris & Weissman's The Great Voyager Adventure (1990), this includes many of the same photos. Though the book's attractive and accessible, its text lacks crisp precision: ``..the Voyagers were launched into space by two rockets.'' Each? ``Many large antennas all over the world would be needed...'' Connected together? ``...although Saturn is big, it is very light...If you could find a bucket big enough, Saturn would float...'' What would keep the gas from leaking away? Quibbles, maybe, but young readers can be very literal minded. Index. (Nonfiction. 7+) Read full book review >