A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole. By Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano. CD. 1:17 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 978-0-8041-2181-1. $15.
Gr 5-7–Gravity, quasars, the formation of black holes, and the meaning of event horizon are just some of the ideas covered in the impressive scope of this book (Charlesbridge, 2012). DeCristofano does a commendable job of introducing concepts that are difficult to visualize and making them accessible by providing examples with which students can identify. For example, the type of snow used in snowballs helps describe density of matter and whirlpools are used to explain the pull of black holes. Many scientists and their work are introduced including Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Grote Reber, a pioneer of the radio telescope. Ideas like a black hole being lumpy or smooth depending on the collapsing star it comes from and the concept of “spaghettification,” the stretching out of objects, will intrigue students. The author’s conversational tone and infusion of humor will hook listeners. Maxell Glick, Tara Sands, and Everette Plen provide well-paced narration; Plen makes occasional comic quips. There’s a four-page glossary at the end that provides succinct definitions. Make sure to have the book available so listeners can peruse the illustrations, diagrams, charts, and photos.–C. A. Fehmel,St. LouisCounty Library, MO