Thursday, January 24, 2008
When is a Planet Not a Planet?
Scott, Elaine. 2007. WHEN IS A PLANET NOT A PLANET? New York: Clarion. ISBN 9780618898329 [Suggested Grade Levels 3–6]
On August 24, 2006, a group of astronomers announced Pluto would no longer be considered a planet. This picture book explains in simple, understandable terms why and how that happened. The author takes the reader through the history of astronomy and the great discoveries of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo among others. Then she brings the reader up to date with the more contemporary astronomers and their findings. Finally, she details process behind the decision to “demote” Pluto to dwarf planet status and presents the controversy surrounding both this decision and the discovery of Pluto’s moon, Charon. Clearly and concisely presented, the information is illustrated with photographs, paintings, and charts. The captions provide additional detailed information. Back matter includes additional readings, Web sites, and a glossary. A timely addition to the solar system shelf, this book documents how science changes and evolves with time.
Science changes and evolves with each new theory and discovery. Use this book as a springboard to discuss the scientific method or academic debate.
Other books about the planets:
Landau, Elaine. BEYOND PLUTO. ISBN 9780531125656
Scagell, Robin and Jacqueline Mitton. NIGHT SKY ATLAS. ISBN 9780756628390
By Jane H. Claes