VOYAGER'S GREATEST HITS

THE EPIC TREK TO INTERSTELLAR SPACE

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

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 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

ISAAC NEWTON

From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

WICKED BUGS

THE MEANEST, DEADLIEST, GROSSEST BUGS ON EARTH

Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative.

This junior edition of Stewart’s lurid 2011 portrait gallery of the same name (though much less gleeful subtitle) loses none of its capacity for leaving readers squicked-out.

The author drops a few entries, notably the one on insect sexual practices, and rearranges toned-down versions of the rest into roughly topical sections. Beginning with the same cogent observation—“We are seriously outnumbered”—she follows general practice in thrillers of this ilk by defining “bug” broadly enough to include all-too-detailed descriptions of the life cycles and revolting or deadly effects of scorpions and spiders, ticks, lice, and, in a chapter evocatively titled “The Enemy Within,” such internal guests as guinea worms and tapeworms. Mosquitoes, bedbugs, the ubiquitous “Filth Fly,” and like usual suspects mingle with more-exotic threats, from the tongue-eating louse and a “yak-killer hornet” (just imagine) to the aggressive screw-worm fly that, in one cited case, flew up a man’s nose and laid hundreds of eggs…that…hatched. Morrow-Cribbs’ close-up full-color drawings don’t offer the visceral thrills of the photos in, for instance, Rebecca L. Johnson’s Zombie Makers (2012) but are accurate and finely detailed enough to please even the fussiest young entomologists.

Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative. (index, glossary, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61620-755-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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