The Universe: The Big Bang, Black Holes, and Blue Whales

Nomad. Sept. 2020. 128p. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9781619309296.
Gr 7-10–Middle school and lower high school readers will be drawn into the science of cosmology. Similar to the composition and critical thinking opportunities offered in an academic science textbook, facts and purposeful queries are presented at the start and end of each chapter. Readers are sure to gain knowledge about the impact of revolutionary thinking and discovery. Cornell’s comic-style characters, engaged in dialogue at the beginning of each chapter, spark readers’ interest in the topics introduced, from the first stars to spiral galaxies to life on Earth. Although it features an unvaried, blocky design and sidebars with small font, the neatly arranged page layouts guide readers between the main body of text and the impressive photographs (often cited from NASA) and diagrams. Interactive QR codes are provided; links offer relevant visual media and resources. The text includes a time line of cosmic phenomena, metric conversions, an extensive glossary, an index, a bibliography, and STEM experiments for the creation of models.
VERDICT An in-depth educational science resource for middle and high school readers with basic astronomical knowledge. Readers will achieve a greater understanding of the science of cosmology and its related content, from the big bang to a star’s life cycle to Earth’s geosphere.

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