From School Library Journal
Grade 5–7—Pairing dramatic space art with souped-up prose, Aguilar introduces more than a dozen types of stars and stellar phenomena, from Algol, the "winking demon star," and supernovae ("Boom! There goes the neighborhood") to black holes, brown dwarfs, and planetary nebulae, the "butterflies of the universe." Aside from the occasional alien or interstellar spacecraft set against glowing star fields, the information in both pictures and text sticks to the facts, accurately reflecting current knowledge without ever coming close to turning into a dry recitation of data. Four sky charts and a spread of assorted informative back matter give this unusually exuberant ticket to ride for young sky watchers and armchair space travelers a strong finish.—John Peters, New York Public Library
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
After taking readers on an updated tour of the cosmic neighborhood in 11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System (2008), Aguilar now offers an investigation of the endlessly fascinating array of stars and other massive space objects. The heavy hitters—supernovas, red giants, and black holes—are all here, but so too are the less celebrated but no less celestially critical globular clusters, pulsars, and planetary nebulae, among others. With an inviting blend of casual observation and technical insight, Aguilar offers information on each in dedicated spreads complemented by sparkly photos and his own original space art (some of which provide breathtaking vistas of stargazing on imaginary planets). Perhaps most useful to young astro-enthusiasts, he also provides nearby examples of each type, where they sit in constellations, and the best way to view them, ranging from the naked eye to the observatory. Four pages of star charts and an activity designed to convey relative sizing are appended. This could well become the bright centerpiece of middle-grade astronomy collections. Grades 4-8. --Ian Chipman