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Rolling Readers Space Coast, Inc. Commentary:

Summer 2017 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex gave visitors the opportunity to see firsthand the huge strides that have been made in exploration of the planet Mars. Entitled “Summer of Mars”, June and July included lots of new things to do, exhibits and shows to see, as well as appearances by NASA scientists, astronauts and key personnel involved in NASA’s “Journey to Mars” program. Did you go and take on the challenge of being an explorer? With lots of science, technology, engineering and math prevalent throughout, and the idea that one day human missions to Mars will take place, here are some books to read for the journey. Our highlighted book for August 2017, Messages From Mars – written by Loreen Leedy and Andrew Schuerger, and illustrated by Loreen Leedy, is about a group of children who get the opportunity to travel to Mars as astronauts. The children send emails to family and friends back on earth. Illustrations include actual photos taken by the Mars Rovers that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech built and NASA’s Launch Services Program helped send to the planet on top of various rockets. Facts are presented with colorful, fun illustrations added in, making it a great read for 1st and 2nd grade children with support, and 3rd and 4th grade children individually.

EDITORIAL REVIEWS

Gr1 (with support) to Gr4

From School Library Journal:

“In the year 2106, seven travelers, much like those in Leedy’s Postcards from Pluto (Holiday House, 1993), go to Mars. Via e-mails home, the young crew members describe the voyage, make comparisons between Earth and Mars, and revisit sites of previous exploratory-craft landings. Leedy’s colorful cartoons, authentic photographs from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech, and much factual information are incorporated into the story. Anticipating a time in the near future when humans will set foot on the Red Planet, the authors express the wonder of exploration and the possibility of a colony there. The book updates Sally Ride and Tam O’Shaughnessy’s more detailed The Mystery of Mars (Crown, 1999). The authors note that scientific research continues and that updates will be posted on their Web site. Schuerger is an astrobiologist and manager of the Kennedy Space Center’s Mars projects. A welcome addition.”

Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

From Booklist:

“Leedy teams with her husband, an astrobiologist, to create a book combining fiction’s narrative approach with scientific facts and historical information about exploration of the planet over the last 40 years. In 2106 six children, their team leader, and a “hoverbot” (floating robot) take a voyage to Mars. They travel through space, visit sites explored by Mars landers and rovers a century before, sightsee at Endurance Crater, fly by Valles Marineris, and finally arrive at Mars base Alpha. Along the way, they send messages back home, informally relaying information about space travel and conditions on the red planet. Cartoonlike images of the fictional characters and their spacecraft are digitally combined with photos of Mars. The book concludes with planetary fast facts, an illustrated time line of its exploration, a glossary, and a discussion of questions still to be answered. Clever, and a good starting point for those intrigued by Mars.”

-Carolyn Phelan Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

Brevard County Library link to locate this book: Click here to locate this book

A couple additional books about Mars:

Summary:  

“NASA hasn’t managed to send a manned mission to Mars yet, but these energetic astronauts are way ahead of them. Everyone’s invited to join the astronauts as they board their rocket and countdown to take-off for an exciting alphabet adventure. Explore the ship as it races toward Mars, see the astronauts work and play on the way, and follow their investigation of the surface of the Red Planet and its moons. Every page reveals fascinating facts about Mars, space travel, and what you might find on a trip beyond the stratosphere. Playful and dynamic illustrations offer an exciting glimpse of extraterrestrial travel that is sure to inspire every young reader to put on a spacesuit and start counting down.” – Grade K-3 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

 Click here to locate this book 

Summary:  

Meteor the mousetronaut returns to outer space in this exciting story from #1 New York Times bestselling author and retired NASA astronaut Commander Mark Kelly and renowned illustrator C.F. Payne. 3-2-1…blast off! The smallest member of the team, a mouse named Meteor, is back on board and ready to come to the rescue on an interplanetary adventure! With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C.F. Payne, this charming new mousetronaut adventure will inspire imaginations of all sizes! Includes detailed scientific back matter.” – Grade K-3 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:  Click here to locate this book