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The Kid Who Named Pluto: And the Stories of Other Extraordinary Young People in Science Hardcover – April, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6–This book profiles nine people who made significant contributions to science while still quite young. Louis Braille and Robert Goddard are among the more famous, while others, such as television pioneer Philo Farnsworth and Venetia Burney, the girl who named Pluto, are less well known. Most of the figures are historical, but the inclusion of a couple of young geniuses from the 1990s adds contemporary perspective. All of them, four girls and five boys, are from Europe or the United States. The lively and lighthearted text conveys a sense of the excitement of discovery, with an appropriate amount of background information, along with the biographical facts. With Mary Anning, for instance, readers learn about the important fossil discoveries she made, and also get a general sense of early-19th-century paleontology. The Pluto chapter has just a couple of paragraphs about 11-year-old Venetia Burney, with more space devoted to the process by which planets get named, while the Isaac Asimov chapter follows his whole life and career. This varied emphasis keeps the material fresh and shows the diverse circumstances from which youthful inspiration can arise. Lively cartoon pen-and-ink illustrations, all in greens and grays, help to unify the individual chapters. There are a few tips on how kids can follow in the footsteps of these young achievers, but there's more emphasis on the general qualities of curiosity and hard work that can produce amazing results.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. At the age of 14, Philo T. Farnsworth sketched a device that would, many refinements later, become known as the television set. Mary Anning, the British "Princess of Paleontology," was the first to discover an ichthyosaur specimen at age 12. Readers will also find profiles of seven other figures, though some fit less snugly into the "Extraordinary Young People in Science" category claimed by the subtitle. A few were fairly seasoned by the time they made their seminal contributions (the author tends to glide over exact dates, making calculating ages difficult), and Isaac Asimov, strictly speaking, worked more in fiction than in science. But kids won't mind that the organizing principle is a bit elastic; the stories themselves remain interesting and inspiring. Cannell's sprightly sketches, often mimicking doodles in a lab notebook, convey the gung-ho enthusiasm that links all the subjects. Further readings are appended; source notes would have made this even better. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081183770X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811837705
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Kids ages 9-14 will relish this collection of biographies of kids who made inventions or discoveries crucial to science! From braille and television to planetary discoveries, Kid Who Named Pluto surveys the achievements of nine smart kids who made lasting discoveries in science. Kid Who Named Pluto is a unique and enthusiastically recommended addition to any school or community library collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting book. As a teacher and mother of a science teacher, I am always excited when I discover a great book that will engage my students and develop an interest in complex subjects - particularly science. This book does that!
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Format: Paperback
My daughter is 7 now, and this book is just one of a few that have fueled her interest in science, space and nature. I am always on the lookout to support her curiosity and this book does just that. It is written from a wonderful perspective: the inspiration of a childhood interest coupled with youthful motivation. Add to that the supplemental factoids and fun illustrations. The recommended age (grade school) reflects the lowest common denominator of reading ability. In actuality, if a parent is reading the material to a curious and interested child, the appropriate age could be reduced to 5 (proof in that of my almost-5 nephew, who will sit riveted to anything read to him about how things are made). Highly recommended, as are:
* The ValueTales series: Example:The Value of Learning: The Story of Marie Curie (Value Tale) (published in the late 1970s - the series of biographical tales of historical, literary and scientific figures as told through the prism of a particular value like self-reliance, patience, curiosity, etc.)
* Exploratopia: More than 400 kid-friendly experiments and explorations for curious minds
* Sir Cumference and the First Round Table: A Math Adventure
* Math Curse
* Physics: Why Matter Matters
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Format: Hardcover
The longer chapters in this book (~8 pages each child) helps your kids learn how a scientific mind clicks. Good, in-depth reading -- captures the imagination.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice little book for kids. I bet my granddaughter will love it for Christmas. God bless all in this day of the Lord!
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