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The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney
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The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  41 reviews
An empowering, inspiring--and accessible!--nonfiction picture book about the eleven-year-old girl who actually named the newly discovered Pluto in 1930.

When Venetia Burney's grandfather reads aloud from the newspaper about a new discovery--a "ninth major planet" that has yet to be named--her eleven-year-old mind starts whirring. She is studying the planets in school and
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Schwartz & Wade Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Panda Incognito
Pluto, everyone's favorite underdog, received its mythology-inspired name from a bright, inquisitive eleven-year-old girl whose grandfather had connections with notable astronomers. When I placed a library request on this picture book biography, I expected that it told the story of a woman scientist, but the unexpected true story of schoolgirl Venetia Burney naming a planet is even more interesting. The author and illustrator convey this unique history in an attractive, child-friendly way, and ...more
Elena Weed
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-stories
This picture book tells the life story of Venetia Burney, the girl who is credited with suggesting the name for Pluto upon its discovery. Its chronological retell of this life story integrates factual components of Pluto's discovery with beautiful illustrations that demonstrate Venetia's story. The pairing of dramatic illustrations including panels, two page spreads, and color contrast with the eloquent description of Venetia's life story make for an excellent retell of Venetia's tale.

I love the
Megan Parris
I loved this book! It is based off a true story which I find fascinating. I love the illustrations in this book. It made me feel like I was part of the book. It is a cute story about an ordinary girl who does a pretty powerful thing, naming a planet. It combines a history and science in one book! It also has facts about Venetia at the end of the book and teaching resources. I love how this book sparks learning. It can teach kids that although they are small, they can do influential things.

Suad Shamma
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2019
You'll finish this book in 10 minutes tops! But I still found it super enlightening and interesting to read. I had no idea that Pluto's name was proposed by a young girl, and it makes me really happy that her suggestion was actually taken seriously and chosen.

Now, I was really upset when it was decided that Pluto would not be part of the solar system and was reclassified. I grew up learning that the solar system is made up of 9 planets, and it ended with Pluto, the smallest one of them all. It
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really engaging picture book biography of Venetia Burney, the eleven-year-old girl who named the newly-discovered-then-planet Pluto. Venetia shared a love of learning with grandfather, a retired Oxford librarian and they were fascinated by the story of the newly discovered planet. When Venetia suggested a name for it, her scientific world connected grandfather passed it on. Months later they learned the name had been selected.

Based on a true story of two people with wonderful and curious minds,
Tracy Holland
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Venetia Burney, a young girl growing up in England was responsible for the naming of Pluto. Intrigued by an activity that she did in school in which they mapped the planets to scale, she brought her enthusiasm home to her grandfather, who worked in the Oxford library. When the discovery of Pluto becomes news, she creatively, and intuitively suggests to her grandfather that the planet be named Pluto. Through his connections, her name becomes the unanimous name of the then new planet. The history ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, biography
It's not what you know, it's who you know - like a grandfather who's a friend of someone in the Royal Astronomical Society. Venetia suggests Planet X be named "Pluto" and has to wait a long time while it sifts through the channels until it reaches Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory who likes the idea. As a reward, her grandfather gives Venetia's school the money to purchase a gramophone - that they name "Pluto."
It's a sweet story with very good illustrations that might work in storytime
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful storybook that details Venetia Burneys early life and the story of how her grandfather helped her get her name for Pluto recognized. The artwork was magnificent and the story heart-warming. In the Authors Notes there are even quotes from Mz. Burney as an adult on the removal of Plutos planetary status. Overall, a wonderful introductory biography of Venetia Burney sure to amuse all! ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very interesting story! I had no idea that the name Pluto was actually suggested by a student! Just goes to show what a curious mind can come up with.
I liked how kid-friendly the text was. It could very easily have been about any other student that kids today would know.

I do wish that there had been more numbers of steps given between planets - that way teachers could re-enact the lesson after reading this book!
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this picture book about the girl who named Pluto! Alice McGinty opened with a wonderful story of Venetia in school with her teacher and classmates that provided the perfect example of her lifelong love of astronomy. This picture book biography is a STEM book for every elementary classroom bookshelf -- demonstrating that we can all make a difference.
In addition to the well-researched text are beautiful illustrations that carry the reader forward and into the pages.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Our son has an abiding interest in space. This last week, with preschool closed, I asked what topics he wanted to explore while at home, and he chose "Space and Planets." So I ordered a few more books to assist with that and saw this one, which looked promising. He wanted to read it as soon as he saw it and really enjoyed it.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sure to be a hit among anyone who loves astronomy, the book tells the story of Venetia Burney, who, as an eleven-year-old schoolgirl in England, came up with the name for Pluto when it was discovered in 1930. The author's note at the end includes information about Ms. Burney, including her reaction when Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006.
How did the former planet Pluto get its name? Why a school girl is one to come up with it as Pluto is Neptune's brother in Roman mythology. A neat biography with a story I was unfamiliar with. End note does explain that Pluto is no longer a planet and even interviews Venetia for her opinion - she thought it should still be a planet.
Miss Sarah
A picture book biography of a young . girl whose learning about space at school and home when a new planet is discoverd. She names the planet and many people work to get her name to the right people. Nice child involvement in a science.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who would have thought it was a little girl that named Pluto? Great story!

One of my favorite As it Happens stories on CBC was the one where people vented their anger over Pluto no longer being a planet. This book even addresses that in the afterward.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love biographies..especially ones with beautiful illustrations and a fascinating new person to meet. I'd never heard the story about Venetia Burney...the young girl who is responsible for naming Pluto!
Mireille Messier
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that a young girl named Pluto? I sure did not! I am so glad that this book crossed my path so that I do now. "The Girl Who Named Pluto" is a perfect example of a fantastic picture book biography!
Brenda Kahn
Terrific picture book biography about a girl whose curiosity was encouraged by her mom and grandfather. When a new planet was discovered, she thought Pluto would be a great name. Her well-connected grandfather writes a letter. Fascinating story.
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Great story about Venetia Burney and how the planet came to be named Pluto.
Lisa D
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Interesting book! Had no idea this was the origin of the planet Pluto
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Evocative art and a storyline that will introduce a likely unfamiliar person to kids and adults alike.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A beautifully illustrated picture book about Venetia Burney, the 11-year-old girl who was responsible for naming Pluto. It is great to have more light shed on this oft looked over piece of history.
Jennifer Choi
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A non fiction story about Venetia Burney who named Pluto, also a great book to intro kids to the various planets in a story telling way
James Holzhauer, if you're still reading kids' books, read this one!

Who knew, Pluto was named by an 11-year-old British girl? Talk about affirming for young STEM and STEAM readers.
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story of the school girl who suggested the name that was chosen for Pluto, when the new planet was first discovered.
Julie Wasmund Hoffman
I got to hear Alice McGinty read this aloud before it was published. I am a fan of Pluto and I am a fan of Alice McGinty. Now I am also a fan of Venetia Burney!
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this story. Would have liked the fact that Pluto was named as a dwarf planet as part of the story and not just Authors note

My students: grades 3-5
Sarah Middlestead
So interesting and beautiful illustrations.
Lynne Marie
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting story about the only child to have ever named a planet!
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