Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summer Reading 2018 Science Comics: Rockets: Defying Gravity


Science Comics continues to cover topics of interest to young readers. This volume covers the development of rockets from 400 BCE to the present. An amazing feature is that the figures from rocketry history are a mix of men and women from different time periods and different countries. Their contributions range from the strictly theoretical (books, dissertations, theories), to experiments, improvements on previous advances, and incredible breakthroughs.

The humorous narrators of the book are an assortment of animals that have been used in the journey to space - a sheep, duck, and rooster like those in the Montgolfiers' balloon; rats and mice; dogs; even bears! Along the way, readers learn about early fireworks and rockets in China, activities during WWI, the Cold War and Space Race, onward through the ISS and even SpaceX.

Cameos by Isaac Newton and other worthies of science help illustrate theories such as the Laws of Motion that affect rockets. Puns and other jokes keep the rather dense science and math accessible. Current topics such as Mars rovers, solar sails, and the work of Elon Musk to include private industry in the development of space technology are all covered.

For middle grade readers (and older) who are interested in rocketry and man's journey outward from the Earth, this is a very accessible presentation of major milestones along the way. A 3-page timeline, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading are in the back matter.

Highly recommended. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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