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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Kid Astronaut: Space Adventure is a children’s science fiction/education book written by Laura Knight. It’s the year 2050, and scientists around the world are engaged in monitoring the planets in our solar system for signs of life and any changes in their temperatures, geologic conditions, and appearance. Dr. Gusgus is the Lead Scientist for the United States’ Agency 0-0-2, and he spends his days peering through the agency’s extremely high powered telescope. Today, he’s trying to decide whether to examine Jupiter, Mars or Mercury. They are all considered neighboring planets. That decision made, Dr. Gusgus was stunned to discover that there was indeed activity on the surface of Mars. As he watched, an alien spaceship approached the red planet and slowly landed. He immediately contacted his counterparts from around the globe. Each country’s space agency confirmed the sighting. Now, what were they going to do? Should they launch a rocket and destroy the invader? Or send a Rover to study it? What about an astronaut?
This is both an exciting science fiction story and a real-world introduction to astronomy and STEM sciences. Tucked in with the story about Dr. Gusgus and the Mars visitor are NASA Files which are chock-full of photographs of astronauts and scientists; rockets being launched or in their early stages of development; and discussions of the Outer Space Treaty which is a world-wide pact. I loved the interactive nature of this book which lets kids decide easy things like the color of a rocket or which planet to study as well as more difficult subjects like deciding whether to simply obliterate that visiting rocket ship or extend a hand in friendship. What a great book to get kids excited about science and STEM subjects -- and it does so in a painless and quite entertaining fashion. Adults who share this book with kids will enjoy the parallels they’ll find in the old science fiction movies of the '60s and will no doubt love seeing those amazing archival photos of NASA astronauts in action. The author also provides links for kids to get involved in the friendly planet club as well as suggesting activities and discussions for teachers to use after reading the book with their classes. This book is awesome in so many ways! Kid Astronaut: Space Adventure is most highly recommended.