Monday, June 17, 2013

Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More: A History with 21 Activities, by Mary Kay Carson

Beyond the Solar System
Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More
A History with 21 Activities 
Author: Mary Kay Carson 
Publisher: Chicago Review Press 
Publication Date: June 1, 2013

Space has been a BIG theme in our house lately. My daughter Magda is three-and-a-half, which I think is also known as "the astronaut age," meaning that she really wants to be an astronaut. Plus all of those fantastic videos by Chris Hadfield have been making it an exciting time to be a young Canadian space fan. We even had a "Space Day" recently, which involved decorating the hallway with lots of silver and black wrapping paper, stars, astronaut posters and "star maps" made out of black bristol board and white paint, then dumping two tonnes of bubble wrap on the floor for a "moon walk." It was awesome.

In preparation for Space Day, Magda and I went to the library to look for books about space, preferably ones that had lots of pictures, plenty of information that was both scientific and practical, and ideas for followup activities we could do at home. Most of the books we found met one or two of those criteria, but not all. Then I remembered that the book I was looking for was already on my computer! It was the digital galley of Beyond the Solar System that I got from NetGalley. Huzzah!

This book truly is fantastic. It checks all the boxes. It explains a lot about space, plus gives a history of space exploration that goes all the way back to ancient stargazers, plus it has activities that range from simple crafts to some pretty cool science experiments. It's a book that spans a lot of age ranges, though it's probably best suited for kids ages 8-14.

My only complaint is that I only have the digital galley. I can't wait until this book is released because I really need to pick up a print copy so Magda and I can flip through it again and again.

Also, hit the jump for a video of Chris Hadfield wringing out a wet cloth in space!

This experiment was suggested by high school students in Fall River, Nova Scotia, very close to where I am. So cool!

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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