Meg Aust-Anastasi's Reviews > Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet

Cars on Mars by Alexandra Siy
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Feb 19, 10

bookshelves: fun-reading

Author: Alexandra Siy
Title: Cars on Mars; Roving the Red Planet
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Edition: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-57091-462-1
Price: $18.95
Number of pages: 57
Includes: Table of Contents, photographs, drawings, maps, glossary, index, For more information on Mars, and bibliography.
***** 5 stars

I am an astronomy nut. Anything and everything that has to do with astronomy fascinates me, and Alexandra Siy’s book on the Mars rovers Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet does not disappoint. In fact it is one of the most fascinating books on the Mars rover projects that I have read in a long time.

The journey begins with the table of contents “Get Directions” “Start Address: Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, North America, Earth” “End Address: Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, Southern Hemisphere, Mars”. Sound familiar? Almost every child can relate to getting directions from Google. All of the chapter headings are in the same vein, to continue the analogy.

Siy begins at the very beginning of the rover project, with the naming of the two rovers, Spirit and Destiny. A nine year old girl won the naming contest, how cool is that? Through drawings and photographs, and computer renderings Siy takes the reader through the entire project. She explains in clear, distinct language the scientific principles behind what could be very complex thoughts.

Cars on Mars is a perfect compliment to a third or fourth grade space curriculum. The photographs are stunning, the text compliments the photographs, and there is a glossary for the more unusual words. Did you know a Martian day is called a sol, and that it is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds long? And that the Hazcam is a camera that is located on the bottom of the rovers to reveal hazards and other obstacles?

Cars on Mars has won the following awards and I believe this book is worthy of all of them NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing, Top 10 Science-Tech Books Booklist Online, 2010 Finalist AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, Starred Reviews: School Library Journal; Booklist.

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