Members of the SEA Homeschoolers’ community have been preparing for the upcoming Perseid meteor shower and solar eclipse by sharing lots of interesting resources. Here is a collection of astronomy and eclipse related books, both fiction and nonfiction, recommended by our community.
The Space Book: From the Beginning to the End of Time, 250 Milestones in the History of Space & Astronomy
By Jim Bell
Expanding the series that began with the highly successful volumes The Science Book and The Math Book, astronomer and planetary scientist Jim Bell presents 250 of the most groundbreaking astronomical events, from the formation of galaxies to the recent discovery of water ice on Mars. Beautiful photographs or illustrations accompany each entry. Open the book to any page to discover some new wonder or mystery about the Universe around us.
Recommended for all ages
Our Solar System
By American Museum of Natural History
The youngest astronomers can go forth and journey into outer space in this fun, basic introduction to the solar system. The unique format presents our sun and each planet in order with graduated flaps—turn each flap to reveal fascinating facts on each celestial body, and even the Milky Way!
Recommended ages 2-6
Older than The Stars
By Karen C Fox
Vibrant illustrations and lively verse tell the story of the cosmic connections and the beginning of the universe. Simple, informative prose provides additional facts.
Recommended ages 3-8
Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story
By Mark Kelly
Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with “mice-tronauts” on his first spaceflight aboard space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. Mousetronaut tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space.
Recommended ages 4-8
Margaret and the Moon
By Dean Robbins
Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world. Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.
Recommended ages 4-8
Looking Up!: The Science of Stargazing
By Joe Rao
This book by Joe Rao, an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, guides kids on how to cast their eyes to space and explains what they’re seeing when they do. The short chapters are broken up with fun, comic-style illustrations. There’s also a special section devoted to the coming eclipse and how to safely look at it
Recommended ages 4-10
DK Eyewitness Books: Universe
Eyewitness: Universe engages both readers and visual learners by presenting information with a combination of photography, small nuggets of information, and fact-packed annotation so children can really dig into topics without becoming overwhelmed.
Recommended ages 6-12
13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System (National Geographic Kids)
By David A. Aguilar
First, Pluto left. Then it came back, along with Ceres and Eris…and now Haumea and MakeMake, too! The recent actions of the International Astronomical Union have put every solar system book out of date. In response, National Geographic joins forces with David Aguilar of the Harvard Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory to revise our 2008 book—and to update young readers on the high-interest topic of space. Using simple text and spectacular photorealistic computer art by the author, this book profiles all 13 planets in their newly created categories—plus the sun, the Oort Cloud, comets, and other worlds being discovered. Back-of-the-book activities offer hands-on fun for budding astronomers.
Recommended ages 6-12
The Usborne Book of Astronomy and Space
By Lisa Miles
Filled with stunning images and interesting information, plus internet links to provide students of all ages with endless opportunities for exploration.
Recommended ages 7+
George’s Secret Key Paperback Collection: George’s Secret Key to the Universe; George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt; George and the Big Bang
By Lucy and Steven Hawking
Join George and Annie as they explore the galaxy in this cosmic adventure series from acclaimed scientist Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy Hawking.
Recommended for ages 7-12
Astrotwins: Project Blastoff
By Mark Kelly
A team of middle schoolers prepares for blastoff in this adventure from the author of the New York Times bestselling Mousetronaut, based on the childhoods of real-life astronauts Mark Kelly and his twin brother Scott.
Recommended for ages 8-12
Every Soul a Star
By Wendy Mass
At Moon Shadow, an isolated campground, thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. The lives of three teens are about to be changed forever. The astronomical details are fascinating and lyrically incorporated into the narrative. An author’s note includes the date of the next solar eclipse in the mainland United States and additional resources.
Recommended for ages 10-14
American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World
By David Baron
Richly illustrated and meticulously researched, American Eclipse ultimately depicts a young nation that looked to the skies to reveal its towering ambition and expose its latent genius. A surprising story of how the eclipse spurred three icons of the 19th century―inventor Thomas Edison, planet hunter James Craig Watson, and astronomer and women’s-rights crusader Maria Mitchell―to trek into the wild Western frontier to observe it.
Recommended ages High School and above
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