THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE

SUPERNOVAE, DARK ENERGY, AND BLACK HOLES

“Strange as it may seem, 96 percent of the universe seems to be made of two ingredients that no one understands.” This shining addition to the Scientists in the Field series focuses on astronomer Alex Filippenko, part of a team researching dark energy and dark matter in the universe. Jackson’s clear, logically organized text provides appropriate background, introducing Filippenko as teacher and researcher and following him as he uses the Keck Observatory in Hawaii to find a supernova. One chapter discusses current thinking about the big bang theory and the composition of the universe, and the book concludes with a description of the scientist’s day-to-day work at the Lick Observatory in California. Bishop’s photographs and illustrations bring readers into Filippenko’s world, while NASA photographs add to their sense of wonder. Special sections explain spectrographs, the electromagnetic spectrum, black holes and the measurement of time and light. Thoughtful design adds to the pleasure of this splendid invitation to explore darker corners of the universe. (bibliography, student and teacher resources, clubs and organizations, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: May 5, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-618-56325-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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SCAT

During a field trip to Black Vine Swamp, a suspicious “wildfire” breaks out, and much-feared and -reviled science teacher Mrs. Starch vanishes. The school gets a letter stating she is away on a “family emergency,” but no one believes that. Nick Waters and his friend Marta Gonzales are sure bad-boy Duane “Smoke” Scrod, Jr., is to blame for both fire and disappearance. However, there’s more to Duane, Mrs. Starch and the fire than Nick or Marta could ever imagine. This is Hiaasen Country, so the complications include a rare Florida panther, a crooked oil company, a tree-hugging Hayduke of a millionaire and a couple of well-meaning-but-not-as-swift-as-the-kids detectives. Hiaasen’s third outing for young readers might be a little slow in pacing and the character types might be recognizable to experienced readers, but fans of Hoot and Flush (2002, 2005) will not be disappointed by this funny, believable, environmentally friendly tween thriller. (Thriller. 10-15)

Pub Date: Jan. 13, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-375-83486-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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