Solidly research based, this may shutter some eyes, but it’s likely to open more.

SNOOZEFEST

THE SURPRISING SCIENCE OF SLEEP

Studies show that nearly half of the teens in this country don’t get enough sleep—and here’s a look at what they’re missing.

Gamely battling the inherent tendency of books about the topic to make readers drowse off, Kyi effervescently digests accumulated knowledge and recent findings from the dozens of scientific studies cited in the endnotes to highlight ways in which sleep gives our brains a chance to organize experiences, benefits our immune systems, and affects bodily functions from motor skills to weight control. She also offers nods to the history of sleep studies, from the invention of the EEG on, the stages of sleep and disorders like sleep apnea, and biochemical processes that initiate or disrupt sleep. In response to findings that teens need over nine hours of sleep a night for best results, she spends some time on the growing movement to experiment with later start times in high schools. If she spares barely a glance at the hazards and side effects of sleeping pills and leaves unmentioned the fact that animals dream too, still she covers a lot of territory in a reasonably systematic way. Some of her observations may even prompt young night owls to reexamine their habits. Aside from the occasional anatomical image, Goulet’s cartoon illustrations are just decorative…but human figures wakeful and otherwise are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Solidly research based, this may shutter some eyes, but it’s likely to open more. (index, further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0149-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals.

EXPLORING SPACE

FROM GALILEO TO THE MARS ROVER AND BEYOND

Finely detailed cutaway views of spacecraft and satellites launch a broad account of space exploration’s past, present, and near future.

Jenkins begins with the journey of Voyager I, currently the “most distant man-made object ever,” then goes back to recap the history of astronomy, the space race, and the space-shuttle program. He goes on to survey major interplanetary probes and the proliferating swarm of near-Earth satellites, then closes with reflections on our current revived interest in visiting Mars and a brief mention of a proposed “space elevator.” This is all familiar territory, at least to well-read young skywatchers and would-be astronauts, and despite occasional wry observations (“For longer stays [in space], things to consider include staying fit and healthy, keeping clean, and not going insane”) it reads more like a digest than a vivid, ongoing story. Biesty’s eye for exact, precise detail is well in evidence in the illustrations, though, and if one spread of generic residents of the International Space Station is the only place his human figures aren’t all white and male, at least he offers riveting depictions of space gear and craft with every last scientific instrument and structural element visible and labeled.

A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals. (index, timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8931-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Enlightening, if not always easily legible, ruminations on the value of being in the dark.

DARK MATTERS

NATURE'S REACTION TO LIGHT POLLUTION

Reflections on the ways that artificial light upsets patterns and behaviors in the natural world.

Galat (Stories of the Aurora,2016, etc.) spins childhood memories into semifictive reminiscences. Between recalling lying on her back in the snow at 10 to trace the Big Dipper and describing links between light pollution and several environmental issues as a grown-up naturalist, the author recalls camping trips and other excursions at various ages. These offer, at least tangentially, insights into how artificial lighting could affect nocturnal insects, sea turtle hatchlings, bats, and migratory birds, as well as the general hunting, mating, and nesting behaviors of animals. She closes, after a quick mention of scotobiology (the study of life in darkness), with a plea to turn off the lights whenever possible. Though she does not support this general appeal with specific practices or, for that matter, source notes for her information, she does offer a list of internet search terms for readers who want to explore the topic further. Despite illustrations that range from a close-up of a road-kill raccoon to pointless filler and passages that, paradoxically, are hard to read except in bright light because they’re printed over speckled fields of stars, this outing covers a topic that should be of interest to young stargazers and scotobiologists alike.

Enlightening, if not always easily legible, ruminations on the value of being in the dark. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-88995-515-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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