________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 12 . . . . February 6, 2009

cover Living in Space. (Exploring Space).

David Baker & Heather Kissock.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
32 p, pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-59036-770-4 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-59036-769-8 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Life support systems (Space environment)-Juvenile fiction.
Space shuttles-Jevenile fiction.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Clancy Pryde.

*** /4

excerpt:

Whether at home or in space, housekeeping is essential to creating a healthy and clean environment. Astronauts schedule time into their busy days to make sure this work gets done. Most housekeeping tasks are similar to those people do on Earth to keep their homes clean. Preparing meals, stowing gear that is not being used, collecting trash, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom are all jobs that astronauts do while in space.

Space is a harsh environment, offering nothing that humans need for survival. Temperatures are extreme, thereís no air, and everything just keeps floating away. So it will probably surprise most young readers to find out that life aboard a space shuttle can be very much like life at home. Living in Space examines the quotidian details of life outside the Earthís atmosphere. Eating, sleeping, exercising, relaxing and housekeeping chores are all part of every space travellerís day, but each task comes with its own microgravity complications. Astronauts need to fasten themselves into bed with seatbelts so they donít float away while they sleep. Food needs to be sticky and solid so it will stay on the fork, and bread crumbs are dangerous as they can float into electronic equipment and eyes. And though everyone must work together to prepare food and keep things neat and tidy, it is surely more fun to do chores while floating! The book concludes with an examination of the qualifications required to become an astronaut and the possible future of life in outer space.

     Living in Space is an engaging book for young students. Sentences are more complex than in an easy reader, but each topic is still covered in a few short paragraphs on a double-page spread. Excellent colour photos are generously used on every page to illustrate life on the shuttle. Many full-colour books like this can be difficult for children to read because, in the publisherís effort to make it interesting, the text is presented in too many different ways. But Living in Space avoids this situation by keeping the main information on an easy-to-read white background and using small text boxes for other fun facts. Each page also has either an opportunity for further study with a weblink or further thought with an intriguing question to ponder. The table of contents, glossary and index are all clear and concise making the book an easily-accessible overview of what it is like to live on the space shuttle. Living in Space is is a book that would be at home in a classroom or library where it could be used for research projects or by aspiring young astronauts.

Recommended.

Clancy Pryde is a mother and a Bachelor of Education candidate at York University in Toronto, ON. She was happy to learn that astronauts donít do laundry.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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