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To Infinity and Beyond: Books about Space and Astronomy

by Miriam Downey 26. March 2013 07:10


 One of our favorite family nighttime activities is to lay on the beach at our cottage on Lake Michigan and stare up at the skies. I don't know all the names of stars and constellations, but I love to look at them, staring into infinity. Because it is so dark down there on the beach, we can dream big dreams and talk about important things. In August the sky is often filled with falling stars, and sometimes on very clear nights, we can see the Northern Lights. It is no wonder that the night sky has enthralled people for thousands of years.

Many children want to know all that they can about the sky, about space, about stars--about infinity. Infinity is one of those words that children like to bandy around--both when counting or when talking about space. Your local library has a wealth of materials about the sky and space as well as books that name all the constellations. Here is a beginning list of books that can be found at the library. I have also included a couple of websites that will be helpful too.

Books for Grades K-4

Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey. Be sure to get the 2008 edition of the book. H.A. Rey is also the author of the Curious George books. Who knew?

Seeing Stars by Dandi Dailey Mackall. A book of stars for very young children.

Constellations: A Glow-in-the-Dark Guide to the Night Sky by Chris Sasaki. This book is cool because it glows in the dark.

Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Milton. Discusses 19 animal constellations and explains how to find them in the night sky.

3D Explorer: Solar System by Ian Graham. This is a pop-up book--very cool, although most libraries don't carry pop-up books. It would be a great gift book for kids who love space.

Books For Grades 5-12

The Stargazing Year: A Backyard Astronomer's Journey Through the Seasons of the Night Sky by Charles Laird Calia. This is a science book but also a memoir about an amateur astronomer who looked at the night sky every night for a year.

The New Atlas of the Stars: Constellations, Stars and Celestial Objects by Melinger and Hoffman. This is a reference for stargazers anywhere in the world.

Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, Jr. The true story of Homer and his friends in West Virginia who built and flew sophisticated rockets. The basis of the equally awesome movie, October Sky.

Out of This World: All the Cool Bits About Space by Clive Gifford. A fact-packed little volume.

Man on the Moon: How a Photograph Made Anything Seem Possible by Pamela Jain Dell. The effect the photograph of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon made on individuals and society.


The Planetary Society for Kids. This very cool website has a little bit of everything. It is created by Bill Nye so it is fun as well as very informative.

Kid Lots of information and games. (This website does have some advertisements.)

Ask an Astronomer for Kids. Has lots of factual information in a question and answer format.

Astronomy for Kids. This is a children's version of the magazine Astronomy.






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