Escape from Earth

Ackroyd, Peter
Dorling Kindersley 2003
ISBN 0-7566-0171-1
144pp
Date finished: 2004-10-08

Ackroyd, who I know from his novels and from his massive non-fiction books (most notably his biography of Charles Dickens), has begun writing a series of children's books under the series title "Voyages Through Time". This one is about space exploration in the 20th century from the invention of rocketry up to the loss of the Columbia. (Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars after the completion of the book.) The coverage isn't limited to manned space exploration; there are also detailed sections on interplanetary probes and and satellite-based instruments.

The publisher is known for lavishly illustrated and encyclopedic books with relatively sparse text; this book has much more text than their other titles, but it's still relatively short, around 30,000 words. I'd guess it would be suitable for children around 13, as there might be too much text for younger ones. Mostly the prose is straightforward, but there are a few places where Ackroyd employs a neat aphorism or image, flashes of the elegance of his work for adults. He also engages in some historical analysis of the motivations for the space race; nothing too deep, but I was surprised and pleased to find it here. A great book for smart kids interested in space.

Tagged: astronomy, children's

Permalink: http://books.amk.ca/2004/10/Escape_from_Earth.html

%T Escape from Earth
%@ 2004-10-08
%G ISBN 0-7566-0171-1
%P 144pp
%I Dorling Kindersley
%A Ackroyd, Peter
%K astronomy, children's
%D 2003

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