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Month in review

Reviews:
All Meat Looks Like South America by Bruce McCall
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
The Black Island by Georges Remi Hergé
The Blues of Flats Brown by Walter Dean Myers
The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew #3) by Carolyn Keene
The Cave by Steve McGill
Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr. and Lois Ehlert
A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough
Enemies and Allies by Kevin J. Anderson
Frozen Tears by Mary Ann MacAfee
Haven Stones: The Last Unicorn by Richard Carbajal
Humanism for Parents — Parenting without Religion by Sean Curley
Hurricane by Arnaldo Ricciulli
I Spy Christmas by Jean Marzollo
If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
Immortality Inc. by Robert Sheckley
Mars: The Red Planet by Isaac Asimov
Monsters! Draw Your Own Mutants, Freaks & Creeps by Jay Stephens
North from Calcutta by Duane Evans
Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer Survivors by Carolyn Rubenstein
Read Me edited by Gaby Morgan
Resonance by A. J. Scudiere
Right to Remain Silent by Penny Warner
Sahwira: An African Friendship by Carolyn Marsden
The Shining by Stephen King
Son of the Great River by Elijah Meeks
The Sun by Ralph Winrich
Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
That's Not My Dinosaur by Fionna Watt
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
What the Hell is a Groom and What's He Supposed to Do? by John Mitchell
Wolf Willow by Wallace Stegner
You Suck by Christopher Moore
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Sun

The Sun (Link goes to Amazon)The Sun: 11/26/09

I'm grateful that my local library cares enough to have current science text books especially in the children's section. Never the less I feel a little sad and nostalgic over the once ninth planet, Pluto.

The Sun by Ralph Winrich was published right around the time that Pluto's fate was in the balance. Eris was spotted in January 2005 and shortly after a number of other small orbiting objects. Pluto being smaller than Eris meant either the solar system had to grow by potentially dozens of new plants or shrink by one. The experts decided to shrink the solar system by one and define a new class of object, the "dwarf planet".

In The Sun then, the solar system has eight planets. For Sean and Harriet it's normal for the solar system to have eight planets and a bunch of dwarf planets. I am still adjusting to the newly adjusted list. I agree that science should adapt as we learn new things but the sentimental side of me thinks Pluto should have been grandfathered in.

The book is part of astronomy books (First Facts Solar System) aimed at children ages 4 to 8. For the younger ones it has lots of wonderful photographs and is an easy to read aloud book. For the ones who can read there is enough variety in the language to teach to increase language skills while teaching science.

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Comment #1: Thursday, November, 26, 2009 at 12:00:38

Laurel Kornfeld

There is no need to feel nostalgic or sad. Pluto still IS a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. One reason the IAU definition makes no sense is it says dwarf planets are not planets at all! That is like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear, and it is inconsistent with the use of the term "dwarf" in astronomy, where dwarf stars are still stars, and dwarf galaxies are still galaxies. Also, the IAU definition classifies objects solely by where they are while ignoring what they are. If Earth were in Pluto's orbit, according to the IAU definition, it would not be a planet either. A definition that takes the same object and makes it a planet in one location and not a planet in another is essentially useless. Pluto is a planet because it is spherical, meaning it is large enough to be pulled into a round shape by its own gravity — a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium and characteristic of planets, not of shapeless asteroids held together by chemical bonds. These reasons are why many astronomers, lay people, and educators are either ignoring the demotion entirely or working to get it overturned. Many planetary scientists prefer a broader planet definition that encompasses any non-self-luminous spheroidal body orbiting a star. That gives our solar system 13 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. The last four are both planets and Kuiper Belt Objects.



Comment #2: Friday, December 4, 2009 at 19:03:32

Pussreboots

I much prefer the 13 planet system but the schools and elementary school text books seem to be going with the 8 planets and planetoid system.



Comment #3: Saturday, December, 5, 2009 at 02:15:33

Laurel Kornfeld

Many schools are choosing to teach this as an open debate. At times, it depends on the individual teacher. Not all schools and textbooks are going with the 8 planet view. Even if some are, that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. Here is a link to a lesson on the planet debate that won a NASA award.



Comment #4: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 22:12:21

Pussreboots

Thank you for the link. The open debate approach isn't what's happening here but it's nice to know that the debate is continuing.



Comment #5: Wednesday, December, 16, 2009 at 14:58:25

Laurel Kornfeld

Our solar system does not have only eight planets. It is only fair to teach children that there are two sides to this ongoing debate. Pluto is still a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. One reason the IAU definition makes no sense is it says dwarf planets are not planets at all! That is like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear, and it is inconsistent with the use of the term "dwarf" in astronomy, where dwarf stars are still stars, and dwarf galaxies are still galaxies. Also, the IAU definition classifies objects solely by where they are while ignoring what they are. If Earth were in Pluto's orbit, according to the IAU definition, it would not be a planet either. A definition that takes the same object and makes it a planet in one location and not a planet in another is essentially useless. Pluto is a planet because it is spherical, meaning it is large enough to be pulled into a round shape by its own gravity--a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium and characteristic of planets, not of shapeless asteroids held together by chemical bonds. These reasons are why many astronomers, lay people, and educators are either ignoring the demotion entirely or working to get it overturned.



Comment #6: Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 13:27:15

Pussreboots

Teachers are underpaid and underfunded. Classroom sizes are ballooning as districts can't afford to fill classrooms with enough teachers to bring class size downt to something manageable. The level of detail of astronomy you want taught to elementary school kids just isn't a reasonable expectation. Perhaps in junior or senior high and certainly college.