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Martian Fossils On Earth? Library Binding – September 1, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up?An interesting look at meteorite ALH 84001. Chapter titles are questions, such as "How can we tell that this meteorite comes from Mars?" Text, drawings, and full-color photographs reveal techniques used by scientists to find the answers. Readers learn how meteorites are found, named, identified, and examined. Bortz focuses on the possibility of non-Earth life evidence in this particular meteorite, pointing out that the information gleaned from ALH 84001 is tantalizing, but not conclusive. Although the open layout of the book might appeal to younger readers, the vocabulary used in discussing scientific principles is appropriately complex and beyond elementary school science concepts. An extensive glossary and index add to the usefulness of the clear text; there is no pronunciation guide. The author states that because this is currently the only book on ALH 84001, no list for further reading is included. He recommends that readers pursue the same sources he used: magazine articles and the Web. However, works such as Billy Aronson's Meteors (Watts, 1996) provide explanations of meteorite formation, travel through space, arrival on Earth, and scientific examination in simple terms that can increase understanding of the concepts discussed here.?Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4^-6. The cover looks like the trailer for a vintage sf movie of the 1950s (a connection the target audience may not make), but this isn't fiction. It's solid science and intriguing scientific speculation. Crisscrossing geology, chemistry, and astronomy, Bortz delves into the hoopla and controversy surrounding the meteorite ALH 84001, which has yielded evidence suggesting the possibility that life once existed on Mars. He begins with the rock's discovery in Antarctica and goes on to describe the scientific methods used to unlock its secrets and the impact of the discovery on the scientific community. Instead of captions, a system of arrows links the many photos to the text. Although this occasionally interferes with the flow of the words, the quaint system usually works well, sometimes providing a more direct link between picture and text than captions do. A helpful glossary is included, though Bortz has done a wonderful job of explaining terms and concepts as he goes along. An author's note speaks to the lack of a bibliography (there simply isn't much on the subject yet) and refers children who want more information to the Internet. Good science that vividly explains how "a simple piece of rock can tell an amazing story." Stephanie Zvirin
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761302700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761302704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,570,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I love sharing science with young readers, and I use my books and website to do that. I also visit schools whenever I can. I give talks called "Our Next Planet," which invites my audience to travel with me to other worlds, and "The Truth About Space Aliens" based on my book about the "Cool Science" of Astrobiology.

I am especially excited to have these three fully revised and updated books available for the Kindle:
Dr. Fred's Weather Watch: Create and Run Your Own Weather Station (co-authored with Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd)
Collision Course! Cosmic Impacts and Life on Earth
Martian Fossils on Earth? The Story of Meteorite ALH84001

My award-winning book, "Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future" (Twenty-First Century Books, 2012, grades 5-8), examines the impact of the Fukushima disaster on the world's energy choices.

My website, "Dr. Fred's Place," has sections called "Ask Dr. Fred," where you can discover some of my favorite questions. It also has pages about all my books, with updates and links for several of them. I have special sections about ""Meltdown!" and "Beyond Jupiter: The Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel." The Beyond Jupiter section includes the story of my trip to a major telescope on Hawaii's highest mountain with Heidi. It also includes her frequently asked questions about astronomy.

After you visit "Dr. Fred's Place," you will understand why I say that science is not about answers but rather about questions and the way we follow them to discoveries. Discover my books, follow your questions, and share in wonderful adventures.

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