Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
The final frontier is no longer the exclusive domain of professional astronauts. More and more, ordinary tourists are venturing into the great beyond. Written in a clear, kid-friendly style and accentuated with fun, detailed illustrations, Space Tourism gives readers an exciting overview of this burgeoning industry. To add context, there are simple explanations of the science behind space travel (such as a super description of how rockets work) and even direct quotes from space-tourism experts, who share realworld experiences and introduce easy experiments and activities (such as building a “gravity simulator” with cardboard and string). Kids will love learning about the latest innovations and will find their imaginations ignited by future possibilities --- such as an Earth-space elevator (not as far-fetched as it sounds) and a space station replete with grassy valleys, streams and trees.
About the authors
Peter McMahon is an online science journalist who has written for the Toronto Star, CTV and Science.ca. Peter also runs a consulting company that offers training and planning for children's science programming. He is the author of Ultimate Trains. Peter lives in Port Hope, Ontario.
Andy Mora specializes in technical and scientific illustration and also works in advertising and design. He is the illustrator of Ultimate Trains. Andy lives in Cookstown, Ontario.
- Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
Space Tourism (Machines of the Future)Readers of Space Tourism might some day blast off for a space holiday! Author Peter McMahon was nominated for the 2010 Lane Anderson Award for Ultimate Trains, the first book in Kids Can’s Machines of the Future series. In Space Tourism, McMahon informs us that one hotel entrepreneur “hopes to offer four-week stays to the public by the end of 2012” for US $15 million.
In the first part of Space Tourism, McMahon gives the short history of the non-work-related space trips that a dozen people have taken since 2000. In the second part of the book, the author explains how advances in technology are rapidly making space trips more affordable. The page and a half of text treatments tell about “Living on an International Space Station,” “Space Hotels” and other topics, with insets that contain trivia such as the fact that Space Station meals are now “designed by celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Rachael Ray.”
This book earns gold stars for its valuable expert interviews that link to truly intriguing experiments. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, for example, describes take-off and “its various stages [that] deliver the astronauts aboard into orbit.” She challenges readers to “think about that” when making the multi-stage rocket. The directions for this and other projects can be tricky, although the projects themselves are outstanding. The impeccably clear illustrations of technical and scientific illustrator, Andy Mora, make a great difference in helping readers successfully complete the projects.
Space Tourism has a glossary and an index; both are slim, but appropriate, for this short, 39-page book. The publisher’s recommended reading level for this book is Grades 4 to 7, but readers in Grade 3 or even younger would appreciate it, too. With its approach that includes hand-drawn images, interesting facts, true stories and things to make, this book will take spaceniks out of this world!
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2012. Volume 35 No. 2.