Book Review: Explore the Cosmos Like Neil deGrasse Tyson

Category: Children’s Book
Reviewed by: Gina Hagler
Title: Explore the Cosmos Like Neil deGrasse Tyson
Author: C.A.P. Saucier
Ages: 8 to 12
NSS Amazon link for this book
Format: Paperback
Pages: 177
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Date: March 2015
Retail Price: $14.99
ISBN: 978-1633880146

Part of the book series “A Space Science Jouney,” this book intertwines space science of the cosmos with biographical information about astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Quotes by Tyson are used throughout the book, tying the science to the experience of a person young readers will likely have seen on the Fox-TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. The information about Tyson’s growing interest in the skies above serves as a personal thread that runs through the science in this book.

The first two chapters tell about Tyson from his childhood to adulthood. Photographs of Tyson at various stages of his life give the reader a feel for what Tyson was like as a boy. The text describes his growing infatuation with the cosmos. It also tells of his early experience with the Hayden Planetarium—where he is director today—and the ways in which his parents supported his interests.

One of the last chapters in the book tells about Tyson today as a father, citizen, and scientist. The author explains that while Tyson is not pushing his two children toward careers in science, he believes that a strong science education is necessary for every citizen.

Throughout the book, the science in the book is related back to Tyson’s interest and exploration of that science whenever practical. Excellent illustrations and meaningful sidebars also bring the concepts being discussed into context for the reader.  The final chapter opens with a quote by Tyson. It is taken from his U.S. Senate Committee testimony in 2012 and reiterates the necessity of fully funded missions that would employ astronauts who are today in middle school. These missions, according to Tyson, would “reboot America’s capacity to innovate as no other force in society can.”

Explore the Cosmos Like Neil deGrasse Tyson is sure to excite the interest of middle school readers while providing them with accurate information and meaningful charts and sidebars. Endnotes, a glossary, and a full bibliography will assist the reader in further research.

© 2015 Gina Hagler

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