A lively, informative, and inspiring story of space exploration.

VOYAGER'S GREATEST HITS

THE EPIC TREK TO INTERSTELLAR SPACE

From the author of Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Plant (2011) comes this fascinating story of the twin Voyager probes, launched 40 years ago to travel to the outer planets of our solar system and now continuing into interstellar space.

The story begins with two graduate students in the early 1960s. CalTech aeronautics student Gary Flandro, working part-time at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, is encouraged by his boss to investigate gravity-assist rocket trajectories to the outer planets. Flandro builds upon the idea of unlimited, gravity-propelled interplanetary space travel invented four years earlier by UCLA physics and mathematics student Michael Minovitch. It was Minovitch’s idea of using a planet’s gravitational field as a “slingshot” effect to enable a spacecraft to travel from one planet to another that made the Voyager mission feasible. In an accessible narrative written in an engaging conversational style, Siy explains how the probes work, what they carry onboard—including the remarkable Golden Record that readers will wish for more detail about—and what was discovered in their journeys to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and their ventures beyond the solar system. Chapters are divided into subtopics, keeping the narrative manageable, and plentiful full-color photographs and schematics neatly complement the text.

A lively, informative, and inspiring story of space exploration. (maps, photos, glossary, websites, further reading, source notes) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-728-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue...

TRAILBLAZERS

33 WOMEN IN SCIENCE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

With STEM now the hot trend in education and concerted efforts to encourage girls to explore scientific fields, this collective biography is most timely.

Swaby offers 33 brief profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science, organized in loose groupings: technology and innovation, earth and stars, health and medicine, and biology. Some of the figures, such as Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, and Marie Tharp, have been written about for young readers, but most have not. Among the lesser known are Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented Kevlar; Yvonne Brill, the Canadian engineer who invented a thruster used in satellites; Elsie Widdowson, the British nutritionist who demonstrated how important fluid and salt are for the body to properly function; and Italian neuroembryologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who made breakthrough discoveries in nerve-cell growth. Swaby emphasizes that most of these scientists had to overcome great obstacles before achieving their successes and receiving recognition due to gender-based discrimination. She also notes that people are not born brilliant scientists and that it’s through repeated observation, experimentation, and testing of ideas that important discoveries are made.

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities. (source notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-55396-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A SHOT IN THE ARM!

From the Big Ideas That Changed the World series , Vol. 3

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) narrates this entry in the Big Ideas That Changed the World series, presenting the story of the development of vaccines.

Lady Mary, an intelligent, lovely White Englishwoman, was infected with smallpox in 1715. The disease left her scarred and possibly contributed to the failure of her marriage, but not before she moved with her husband to the Ottoman Empire and learned there of what came to be called variolation. Inoculating people with an attenuated (hopefully) version of smallpox to cause a mild but immunity-producing spell of the disease was practiced by the Ottomans but remained rare in England until Lady Mary, using her own children, popularized the practice during an epidemic. This graphic novel is illustrated with engaging panels of artwork that broaden its appeal, effectively conveying aspects of the story that extend the enthralling narrative. Taking care to credit innovations in immunology outside of European borders, Brown moves through centuries of thoughtful scientific inquiry and experimentation to thoroughly explain the history of vaccines and their limitless value to the world but also delves into the discouraging story of the anti-vaccination movement. Concluding with information about the Covid-19 pandemic, the narrative easily makes the case that a vaccine for this disease fits quite naturally into eons of scientific progress. Thoroughly researched and fascinating, this effort concludes with outstanding backmatter for a rich, accurate examination of the critical role of vaccines.

Essential. (timeline, biographical notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5001-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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