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Children's Nonfiction Astronomy

Out of This World

The Amazing Search for an Alien Earth

by (author) Jacob Berkowitz

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2009
Astronomy, Aeronautics, Astronautics & Space Science
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7


For the first time in history, humans are actively searching for alien life - specifically, another Earth-like planet in the universe. As you read this, scientists are using high-tech space gear and telescopes to look and listen for an Alien Earth in deep space. Robotic spacecraft are searching for life on moons and other planets in our solar system. Out of This World gives young readers a window seat on this fascinating quest. They'll learn how extreme life forms here on earth may help us understand possible alien life, how our planetary next-door neighbors are getting investigated, about the billions of “exoplanets” that lie far outside our solar system and much more. Crammed with the latest space agency photography, artists' renderings and cosmic illustrations featuring a lovable alien named Ambrosia from the planet Xenon, this book appeals to space lovers and science keeners alike. It's also packed with activities, Astrofacts, profiles of astrobiologists, space artists and other alien hunters.

About the author

Jacob Berkowitz is a science writer who lives near Ottawa, Ontario. He has written for The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and other publications. Jurassic Poop is his first book for children.

Jacob Berkowitz's profile page

Editorial Reviews

... this title has plenty of appeal as a current, widely angled, not-too-earnest introduction to some of modem astronomy's frontiers.

School Library Journal

... Jacob Berkowitz is the best kind of kids' science writer, able to maintain the tension between the profound and the pedestrian.

Quill & Quire

Librarian Reviews

Out of This World: The Amazing Search for an Alien Earth

Attention, Earthlings! Have you ever wondered if there is life on other planets? Do you lie in bed thinking about UFOs, distant galaxies, or how scientists try to communicate with aliens? Do you want to know what big words like astrobiology, radiation and spectrometry mean? For answers to these questions and more, focus your telescope on Out of This World: The Amazing Search for Alien Earth by Jacob Berkowitz, celebrated author of Jurassic Poop.

Out of This World combines scientific facts with theoretical explanations about the world of space exploration. These days, the search for an Alien Earth is focused on discovering planets that can host life forms such as minute microbiological organisms, rather than a search for little green men. Berkowitz covers a wide range of topics in this book including how life forms survive in extreme climates, the search for life on Mars, and space missions and training. A large portion of the book details the relatively recent discovery of exoplanets and how these new types of planets may help advance the quest for an Alien Earth.

Typical for non-fiction books, there are several scientific terms that may need to be pre-taught or discussed with younger readers. Berkowitz makes a concerted effort to keep explanations clear and simple, without overwhelming the reader with too many details. He also provides a basic glossary to clarify several space terms.

Apart from brimming with spacey details, this book also includes several features to spice up the informationloaded text. Features include “Astrofacts” – sidebars on topics ranging from making fake UFO pictures to simple experiments – and short biographies highlighting the life and work of an astrobiologist, an astronomer and a space artist. The book also includes impressive “out of this world” colour photographs taken from actual space explorations, as well as space concept art.

Out of This World is the total package. It combines accessible content with colour and creativity, and is sure to engage and fascinate curious Earthlings of all ages.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2009. Vol.32 No.4.

Other titles by Jacob Berkowitz