Smithsonian Treasures of the National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian. Apr. 2023. 128p. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781588347350.
Gr 5 Up–An outstanding nonfiction work focused on air and space, this is a stunning book that children and adults will be drawn to. Organized into chapters featuring the various eras of flight and space exploration, including “Taking Flight,” “Aviation Goes to War,” and “The Shrinking Globe,” this reference work opens with an introduction explaining the history of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Each chapter is introduced with a beautiful piece of artwork depicting the time period and consists of primary documents, photos of exhibits, and artifacts. Spanning from a Chinese Dragon Kite from 1876, to the Wright Military Flyer in 1911, to the Phantom 1 drone in 2012, the information provided is expansive. The contributions of women and BIPOC to air and space exploration are celebrated. The browsable pages are complete with informative and accessible captions; the work can be read chronologically or randomly depending on interest. Because of the lack of index, educators might want to pair this with supplemental works to expand on the information presented.
VERDICT A necessary purchase for all nonfiction sections, hand this to air and space enthusiasts, or those drawn to high interest books.

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