OUR MOON

NEW DISCOVERIES ABOUT EARTH'S CLOSEST COMPANION

Well-captioned illustrations and photographs, diagrams, and pithy text boxes round out this handsome package.

This examination of Earth’s closest orbital companion presents historical information, scientific fact and theory, an overview of the Apollo missions, and recent discoveries.

Scott first introduces readers to thinkers and scientists, from Anaxagoras to Galileo, who observed, mapped, and tested theories about the moon. The invention of the telescope and the ascendancy of scientific methodology propelled a centurieslong continuum of discovery. Today, the widely accepted “giant impact theory” posits that debris resulting from a colossal collision of a planetary object with Earth formed the basis for our moon. Notably, Scott casts a fresh new look at the successful Apollo missions, whose trove of 800 pounds of moon rocks continues to invite research. NASA’s sophisticated unmanned 21st-century missions—which led to the thrilling discovery of the presence of water on the moon—garner respectful scrutiny. Scott shows that the global race to explore (and perhaps even colonize) the moon, which began with Russia’s unmanned 1959 Luna 2 mission, is ongoing—with Japan, China, and India mounting missions. Scott excels at rendering complex ideas intelligible: radioactive dating, the science of craters, the role of a planet's atmosphere, and much more are clearly presented.

Well-captioned illustrations and photographs, diagrams, and pithy text boxes round out this handsome package. (glossary, bibliography, websites, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-547-48394-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

FLASH FACTS

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both.

Flash, Batman, and other characters from the DC Comics universe tackle supervillains and STEM-related topics and sometimes, both.

Credited to 20 writers and illustrators in various combinations, the 10 episodes invite readers to tag along as Mera and Aquaman visit oceanic zones from epipelagic to hadalpelagic; Supergirl helps a young scholar pick a science-project topic by taking her on a tour of the solar system; and Swamp Thing lends Poison Ivy a hand to describe how DNA works (later joining Swamp Kid to scuttle a climate-altering scheme by Arcane). In other episodes, various costumed creations explain the ins and outs of diverse large- and small-scale phenomena, including electricity, atomic structure, forensic techniques, 3-D printing, and the lactate threshold. Presumably on the supposition that the characters will be more familiar to readers than the science, the minilectures tend to start from simple basics, but the figures are mostly both redrawn to look more childlike than in the comics and identified only in passing. Drawing styles and page designs differ from chapter to chapter but not enough to interrupt overall visual unity and flow—and the cast is sufficiently diverse to include roles for superheroes (and villains) of color like Cyborg, Kid Flash, and the Latina Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Appended lists of websites and science-based YouTube channels, plus instructions for homespun activities related to each episode, point inspired STEM-winders toward further discoveries.

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-382-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

OIL

Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care.

In 1977, the oil carrier Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil into a formerly pristine Alaskan ocean inlet, killing millions of birds, animals, and fish. Despite a cleanup, crude oil is still there.

The Winters foretold the destructive powers of the atomic bomb allusively in The Secret Project (2017), leaving the actuality to the backmatter. They make no such accommodations to young audiences in this disturbing book. From the dark front cover, on which oily blobs conceal a seabird, to the rescuer’s sad face on the back, the mother-son team emphasizes the disaster. A relatively easy-to-read and poetically heightened text introduces the situation. Oil is pumped from the Earth “all day long, all night long, / day after day, year after year” in “what had been unspoiled land, home to Native people // and thousands of caribou.” The scale of extraction is huge: There’s “a giant pipeline” leading to “enormous ships.” Then, crash. Rivers of oil gush out over three full-bleed wordless pages. Subsequent scenes show rocks, seabirds, and sea otters covered with oil. Finally, 30 years later, animals have returned to a cheerful scene. “But if you lift a rock… // oil / seeps / up.” For an adult reader, this is heartbreaking. How much more difficult might this be for an animal-loving child?

Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3077-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Close Quickview