NONFICTION

Mars: Explore the Mysteries of the Red Planet

DK. Mar. 2020. 80p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781465489906.
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Gr 3-5–Big, bold graphics and interesting text offer background information, speculation, and questions to ponder about Mars. The introduction raises intriguing questions: “What is Mars like up close? Did it ever have life? How could we live there one day?” The location of Mars in the solar system is described and compared to Earth. The remaining three sections deal with the planet’s past, its present, and its future. Part one explains the history of Mars and discusses how it formed, its craters and moons, and how Mars has appealed to imaginative fiction writers like H.G. Wells. Part two discusses what scientists are currently learning about Mars through spacecraft exploration using rovers. The Curiosity Rover landed on Mars in 2012 and has a tool called ChemCam that enables it to study and photograph rocks on the planet. Part three focuses on the future by considering how humans might be able to travel to and live on Mars sometime in the next 20 years. This section introduces the challenges involved and the ideas currently being considered, as well as the complexities still left to explore. Readers are provided with a look at where future explorations are heading.
VERDICT An excellent source of information about Mars, what we know, what we would like to know, and ongoing efforts to learn more. The graphics and text work well together to support understanding.

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