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Comment: All profits go to Housing Works -- NYC's largest HIV/AIDS organization. Minimal wear to cover. Pages clean and binding tight. Hardcover.
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The Lives of Stars Hardcover – September 1, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This handsomely designed, large-format volume features spectacular images of stars, nebulae, and galaxies on glossy pages. Most of the pictures are digitally enhanced, space-telescope images, while a few are clearly labeled as artists’ conceptions. The author of See the Stars (2000) and Ten Worlds (2006), as well as several books for adults, astronomer Croswell here presents a great deal of information about stars and how they change over time. Topics include “The Birthplace of Stars,” “Red Giants,” “Double Stars,” and “Extrasolar Planets.” Though no sources are listed, an index and a detailed glossary are appended. The book’s intended audience is puzzling, since it sometimes seems to address young children (“Some stars are blue. Some stars are white. Some stars, like the Sun, are yellow”), while at other times both the reading level and the concepts are a good deal more challenging (“Most interstellar hydrogen gas is made of separate hydrogen atoms. Each hydrogen atom has one proton, a particle with positive electric charge”). Still, an inviting presentation that will get kids turning pages. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan

Review

"Serious eye candy. . . . Students of the skies will find this a (what else?) stellar picture of what we know or guess about those distant lights. (Glossary, index)" --Kirkus Reviews


"Will get kids turning pages." --Booklist
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590785827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590785829
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.3 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Lives of Stars, as its name suggests, is everything you ever wanted to know about stars, but didn't know enough to ask. It is soul food for budding astronomers and inquisitive lay people, but for the scientifically-challenged, those whose eyes glaze over at the hint of scientific formulae, complex interrelationships and small print, it may on the surface appear somewhat daunting. However, if the latter group can for one moment ignore their cold clammy hands and impulse to turn and run, and take it one dazzling page at a time, they will find that this short work contains many of the answers to questions humans have pondered about our universe since they first looked up at the night sky and wondered what all those twinkling lights were up there.

The book is wonderfully well organized, from its table of contents, through its index, and much of what the book covers is stated on the first page which begins: "On a dark night, you can see thousands of stars. All these stars belong to our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Without stars, you could not live. Before the Earth was born, stars made the oxygen you breathe, the calcium in your bones and the iron in your blood." Wow! Who knew?

Each chapter discusses, in great detail, but in simple, comprehensible terms, topics such as how stars are born, what they are made of, the types of stars, the life cycle of stars, and the relationship between how hot a star is and how brightly it will shine. The author explains light years, radio waves, types of hydrogen atoms, the density of matter in space, and more. You will meet brown dwarfs, red giants, white dwarfs and black holes. You will hear all about nebulae and supernovas. You will learn all about the origin of the elements, and extrasolar planets, and the possibility of life in space.
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Format: Hardcover
This delightful little book tells the story of the cycle of life of stars. It is attractive and well-written and chronicles the differences in the types of stars and includes descriptions of where these stars would be in their life cycles. For example, Croswell discusses how the main sequence stars (like our Sun) are likened to adulthood whereas as star ages, it gets hotter and bigger and may eventually become a white dwarf and then a supergiant or supernovae. He gives multiple examples of such stars. Furthermore, he includes beautiful photographs of such stars; some of these images are full page spreads.

Probably the most interesting part of the text is how Croswell uses analogies for comparison to explain about stars in a way understandable to the reader. He uses these analogies liberally throughout the text. For example, in the very first section he describes the method of determining the distance the star is located from earth. This concept of parallax uses the red shift of the star or the movement away from earth as comparison. This is a difficult concept for the reader to grasp but Croswell simply describes this concept as likened to looking out your window and then moving to the right and noting the movement of the object of reference (like a tree) outside the house. He says that this is like observing that the movement of the object closer to the house will appear to move more than a distant object. This is exactly the same technique of parallax used to determine star distance from earth.

I especially appreciate Croswell's added glossary and index at the end of the text. This allows the book to be used as an excellent reference for reports or classroom use. I would most certainly add this little text to my classroom library if I taught about space science. I believe students of all ages can benefit from reading or referencing this little book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave a copy to each of my three granddaughters - actually, one of the copies is shared between siblings. They will need adult assistance to get them interested and hooked. This would be the job of a grandparent, ideally. The books present well in the wondrously colored pictures. While I was visiting, my daughter introduced the book by scanning the text and then explained the meaning of what was there. This book has a good bit of print requiring a reading level of about the 5th grade. The two of granddaughters, who are siblings, are in the second grade and kindergarden; the other granddaughter is also in the second grade. They are able to understand the book if read to them and explained, but their reading skills are not let at the level required to read the book themselves.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Lives of Stars" is a beautiful coffee-table book that will appeal to both students of astronomy age 10 and up and adults. There are multiple incredible photographs of lives and stages of stars and galaxies and a whole page of photography credits. Simply written in expository prose, "The Lives of Stars" has chapters that define how a star is born, the H-R diagram (a way of measuring the intensity of stars that reveals the star's projected life story), descriptions of many different types of stars, star clusters, the origin of the elements, and what to considre about the possibility of life in space, to name just a few. A full 8-page photo-illustrated glossary and index help to clarify astronomic terminology. "The Lives of Stars" is an experience not to be missed for all lovers of galactic theory and knowledge of stars.
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