Saturday, March 18, 2017

Carson, Mary Kay. Mission To Pluto.

Carson, Mary Kay.  Mission To Pluto.  Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt Brace  2016   73p  $18.99  ISBN 978-0-544-41671-0  (Series: Scientists in the Field) Hardback   elem/ms  Nonfiction  E-BNS

This book tells the story of the development of the New Horizons robotic spacecraft that traveled to the dwarf planet Pluto.  The text is written in a conversational manner and is enjoyable to read, and the facts are presented chronologically and fully. The book discusses how the project was repeatedly put on hold. Many items on the spacecraft had to be specially made to be both light and extremely durable. New Horizons travels so far away that help from earth is impossible, so the spacecraft has to be able to fix itself.
The book includes charts and tables and excellent photographs. In addition, a two-page listing of “Words to Know” and a list of web sites for further information are included, as well as a selected bibliography and index.
The text is excellent. However, this reviewer has a concern with the publisher’s choice of color on several pages that use a black background with blue print.  This color combination makes these pages very difficult to read. This is the only detracting feature of Mission to Pluto.

There are at least 27 titles in the Scientists in the Field series. Each title follows scientists through the specific tasks typical of their work. The series is an excellent purchase for students to learn about the work scientists do every day, and it may interest students in future fields of study.  

Summary: This book tells the story of the development of the New Horizons robotic spacecraft that traveled  to the dwarf planet Pluto and is now traveling beyond into the Kuiper Belt.  Grades 4-8.

Space exploration, Pluto                                          —Joan Theal

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