Lavishly illustrated with Anderson’s photographs, this wide-ranging sample of asteroid science presumes quite a bit of...

IMPACT!

ASTEROIDS AND THE SCIENCE OF SAVING THE WORLD

From the Scientists in the Field series

In space and on Earth, scientists study asteroids in hopes of avoiding a disaster like the one that befell the dinosaurs.

In this latest title in the long-running series, the author of The Mighty Mars Rover (2012) introduces researchers investigating smaller solar-orbiting space rocks: asteroids. Opening with a gripping description of fourth-graders’ experience of an asteroid strike in Russia in 2013, she explains what and where asteroids are and how they threaten our planet. Subsequent chapters follow several scientists: meteorite hunters; an impact crater specialist who explores Meteor Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona; an astronomer who uses a major telescope in Arizona to look for unknown near-Earth asteroids; the (female) principle investigator for NASA’s Near Earth Object Wide Infrared Survey Explorer mission; and an Indian-American astronomer, also working in Arizona (and the only nonwhite scientist profiled), identifying the origin of meteorites. One, David Kring, is the man whose research led to the identification of the crater off Yucatan left by the asteroid that changed Earth’s climate, causing the extinction of 75 percent of plants and animals alive at the time, including dinosaurs. Rusch concludes with a short list of possible methods for dealing with an asteroid that actually threatens Earth and includes a long, useful list of books and websites for reader involvement and further research.

Lavishly illustrated with Anderson’s photographs, this wide-ranging sample of asteroid science presumes quite a bit of previous knowledge but will reward the enthusiast. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-67159-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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BLIZZARD!

THE STORM THAT CHANGED AMERICA

In the same format as his Newbery Honor title The Great Fire (1995), Murphy brings the blizzard of 1888 to life. He shows how military weather-monitoring practices, housing and employment conditions, and politics regarding waste management, transportation monopolies, and utilities regulation, all contributed to—and were subsequently affected by—the disaster. He does so through an appealing narrative, making use of first-hand accounts whose sources he describes in his notes at the end (though, disappointingly he cites nothing directly in the text). The wealth of quotable material made available through the letters of members of “the Society of Blizzard Men and Blizzard Ladies” and other sources help to make the story vivid. Many drawings and photographs (some of the blizzard, but most of related scenes) illustrate the text. These large reproductions are all in a sepia-tone that matches the color of the typeface—an effect that feels over-the-top, but doesn’t detract significantly from the power of the story. Murphy’s ability to pull in details that lend context allows him to tell this story of a place in time through the lens of a single, dramatic episode that will engage readers. This is skillfully done: humorous, jaw-dropping, thought-provoking, and chilling. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-590-67309-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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A deliciously hideous glimpse of what’s in store following the ongoing Anthropocene extinction.

BEYOND THE SIXTH EXTINCTION

A POST-APOCALYPTIC POP-UP

An oversized pop-up survey of mutated life forms in the 49th century’s heavily polluted, still-radioactive Cagoan District, the ruins of a fictional future Chicago.

Readers in 4847 may be pleased by this report that the bioremediation of the devastated district is proceeding apace thanks to a “robust ecosystem” of recently evolved creatures who concentrate heavy metals, dissolve concrete, metabolize methane, and even consume the polycarbonate plastics once used to make CDs. Twenty-first century readers, on the other hand, will be positively thrilled by the eight examples—from the fiercely predatory brownfield pigeon, which lives on oil-soaked wastelands and so has developed wing pouches to carry offspring, to a rex roach the size of a puppy—that rear up from alternate spreads as layered, intricately articulated, near (or even more than) life-size models sculpted in muted monochromes. Solano (Hu Wan and the Sleeping Dragon, 2017, etc.) complements Sheehy’s (Welcome to the Neighborwood, 2015, etc.) stylized monsters with more naturalistic painted portraits on each following spread and charts the exotic menagerie’s sometimes-complex interrelationships at the end. Along with introductory remarks, the author provides helpful field notes on each selected subject’s physical characteristics, enhanced resistance to radiation, and general behaviors. This imaginative work will both entertain readers and provoke their concern over the state of our environment.

A deliciously hideous glimpse of what’s in store following the ongoing Anthropocene extinction. (author’s note) (Pop-up science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8788-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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