Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE MIGHTY MARS ROVERS

Author: Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrator: NASA!
Publication Info: Houghton’s Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-47881-4
Source: Library copy
Intended audience: ages 9 and up
Genre: nonfiction, picture book (80 pages)
Themes/topics: Mars, space, science
Opening and synopsis: “Are Martians real? As silly as it may seem, this question has driven Mars exploration for decades. People all over the world yearn to know: Is there life on Mars? If not, has there ever been life on Mars?”
As part of the “Scientists in the Field” series, Rusch follows the development of the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, as well as their years of exploration on Mars.
Why I like this book: Other wonderful books about the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity exist, notably Alexandra Siy’s CARS ON MARS. However, Rusch focuses much of her book on the team behind the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. She shines the spotlight on Steven Squyres, the principal science investigator, who dreamed up the rovers as “rolling geologists.” It was Squyres’s sheer grit and determination that brought this mission to fruition, after NASA turned down his proposals for eight years. Rusch shows how scientists see the rovers as extensions of themselves on Mars, truly as “scientists in the field.” Rusch also previews the Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet last month, kicking off a planned two-year mission.
Resources/activities: NASA has some incredible Web sites, games and resources for all things Mars.

Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.

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29 Replies to “Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE MIGHTY MARS ROVERS”

  1. Kirsten….I’m so glad you reveiwed this book because I had no idea it was out there. I am adding it to my list, and who knows…it may call for me to revise some of my manuscript about Christmas on Mars. I love to research when I write fun fiction. This is perfect!

  2. We can learn so much from those little rovers that have FAR exceeded and outlived their expectations. I am SO jazzed to read so many positive comments about NASA and Space Exploration. My husband works at NASA as a planetary scientist and he’ll love knowing that there are educators out there who share his passion for Mars. If any of you would ever like to SKYPE in a lesson with him, feel free to drop me an email at gruenergang (@) sbcglobal.net

    1. Julie, this book has received so many rave reviews. It’s a wonderful testament to exploration, persistence, overcoming obstacles, etc. And of course, it’s based on Mars, so how could you go wrong?

  3. Boy is this hot off the press. Fantastic selection Kirsten. I wouldn’t mind owning this one. I love the science boks you share. I had a friend working for NASA too when the Hubble was sent up. Loved to listen to her. I love anything about space exploration as it just tells us more about who we are.

      1. I remember when I was dating my husband…Star Trek (the original series) was our favorite TV show (well, after The Avengers, that is)…SPACE…THE FINAL FRONTIER…and it still is. 🙂

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