I received an advance reader copy of Sky Gazing: A Guide to the Moon, Sun, Planets, Stars, Eclipses, and Constellations to read in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley and Storey Publishers.
Meg Thacher did an impressive job with the organization of the book and the depth of information she provided! She excels at writing content that is understandable to the audience it’s intended (9-14 years old) and is also appealing to adults.
The book is organized into the following sections/chapters
- the sky
- the moon
- the sun
- the planets
- the stars and constellations
Thatcher provides an overview of the topic within each chapter, providing eye-catching call outs for defining terms. She provides activity ideas like starting a sky journal and includes a list of supplies and what your sky journal should consist of. I especially appreciated the information regarding best times for sky gazing, calendars of full moons and eclipses, and even directions for using your hands and fingers as a cosmic protractor! We are keen to try her directions for making a red flashlight for night vision.
Thatcher gives excellent details around looking for constellations and the months to find them in the sky for seasonal sky gazing. As a visual learner, I found her visual depiction of a star’s life cycle extremely useful.
The Appendix is filled with essential charts and dates of eclipses, meteor showers, buying binoculars,etc. and a thorough glossary of terms.
As a homeschooling mom, I cannot say enough about this book. Besides the valuable information covered in this book’s text, she includes beautiful and relevant illustrations. My teenagers and my middle-school-aged son all loved reading this book. We plan to incorporate this book into our homeschool curriculum. If you enjoy using Unit Studies in your homeschool, you will find that this book will exceed a unit study. We plan to focus on the learning content over a semester and continue to refer to it monthly as we sky gaze! Oh, and I also love that the book has a hardcover, perfect for a resource book that will likely get a lot of use and even spend some time outside on clear nights, so having a sturdy cover is appreciated.
Skygazing will be released on October 13, 2020. It is a fantastic resource that belongs in every homeschool and school library. We will be referring to it often throughout our school year.