Don't Know Much About Space by Kenneth C. Davis, Sergio Ruzzier |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Don't Know Much About Space

Don't Know Much About Space

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by Kenneth C. Davis, Sergio Ruzzier

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  • If Earth is round, why don't people on the other side of the world fall off? (see page 26)
  • Is Mars red because it's embarrassed? (see page 49)
  • If black holes are invisible, how do we know they're there? (see page 86)

Using the popular style that has won millions of readers, best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis blasts off for the


  • If Earth is round, why don't people on the other side of the world fall off? (see page 26)
  • Is Mars red because it's embarrassed? (see page 49)
  • If black holes are invisible, how do we know they're there? (see page 86)

Using the popular style that has won millions of readers, best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis blasts off for the stars! With an entertaining question-and-answer format, amusing anecdotes, and fact-filled sidebars, he sets his sights on the mysteries of space.

Humorous illustrations, along with NASA photographs, add fun and excitement to this fascinating and comprehensive book. Davis takes you back to the time when the Babylonians first charted the stars — over three thousand years ago! You'll uncover amazing facts about the planets and stars, read how people were once convinced that Earth was the center of the universe, and discover how the experience of moonwalking astronauts may someday lead us to become pioneers on other planets.

This book is the perfect companion to Don't Know Much About® The Universe — and all the other books in the New York Times best-selling Don't Know Much About® series.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Davis' isn't-this-great-stuff perspective illuminates every page. ”
Children's Literature
Anyone who is interested in space will love this well-organized book of facts. Likewise, those with little knowledge about the universe will find themselves drawn into the quick explanations that cover phenomena, history, objects, myths, discoveries and everything else about space. The information is provided in short snippets that use understandable language so that readers won't be overwhelmed. Each bit of information is presented as the answer to a question, giving a comfortable feel of the book. There are five general chapters in the book, which cover the history of astronomy, the sun, the weather in space, the size of the universe and the possibility of life on other planets. A chronology of space milestones and a glossary of terms are included at the end. Adults can fill in the gaps of their own knowledge as they share this book with children. Part of the "Don't Know Much about" series. 2001, HarperCollins, $19.95, $19.89, and $6.95. Ages 8 to 14. Reviewer:Carol Lynch
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Having scored hits with five "Don't Know Much About" books for adults, Davis goes for a younger audience, laying out basic knowledge with a combination of breezy questions and answers punctuated by boxed asides, quotations, or biographical sketches. He also includes lighthearted pop quizzes along the lines of: "The Amazon River gets its name from a group of legendary Greek: a) warriors b) Internet companies c) river boats d) water gods." In Planet Earth he discusses the physical and political geography of each continent, scattering memorable facts and (usually) clever jokes throughout ("How are deserts like desserts?" "Deserts, like apple pie, can be served hot or cold"). In Space he takes on stars, the solar system, the history and structure of the universe, space exploration, black holes, dark matter, the search for life on other planets, and more. Bloom's cartoon drawings add further humorous notes to Planet Earth, but it lacks some much-needed maps; in Space, Ruzzier's somewhat more sophisticated but still decorative art is supplemented by several photos and photo-realist paintings. Few readers will come away from these books without having been amazed or amused, but considering the array of more systematic, better-illustrated books available on the topics, they are supplementary purchases at best.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Don't Know Much About Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


A very smart, funny scientist once told a reporter that space isn't so far away. "It's only an hour's drive if your car could go straight up." He was right. That is how close we are to space.

But here's another way to think about space. The galaxies of outer space are filled with stars. Does ten billion trillion stars mean anything to you? It sounds like one of those words that little kids make up when they want to think of the absolutely hugest possible number there is. But that is how many stars astronomers say are out there in the universe. If everybody on Earth -- all six billion people -- counted 1,000 stars per second for twenty-four hours a day, it would take 50 years to count all those stars. You could get tired just thinking about it.

Of course our Sun, which gives light, energy, and life to Earth, is only one of those trillions of stars. Now space seems like a much bigger place, doesn't it?

Don't Know Much About Space is meant to be an easy, interesting, and fun way to help you navigate around all that space. Just like a road map helps show the way to the beach, or a tour book tells you which sights to see when you visit a new city, this book introduces the sights and places that we know exist in our great big universe. It asks and answers a lot of questions you may have about space -- and maybe a few you haven't thought of. It also asks some questions to which science has no answers yet!

As we continue to explore space, with exciting projects like the International Space Station, which was being put together a few hundred miles above Earth even as this book was being written, we'll answer some of those questions. But one thing is for certain: space will be part of our future.

So it's a good idea to get to know the place where you and your children and grandchildren may someday explore and work -- or just take a holiday. Happy space travels!

Meet the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of A Nation Rising; America's Hidden History; and Don't Know Much About® History, which spent thirty-five consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, sold more than 1.6 million copies, and gave rise to his phenomenal Don't Know Much About® series for adults and children. A resident of New York City and Dorset, Vermont, Davis frequently appears on national television and radio and has been a commentator on NPR's All Things Considered. He blogs regularly at

Sergio Ruzzier creates pictures and stories for books, magazines, and newspapers. He is also the illustrator of Moon, Have You Met My Mother?, the collected works of Karla Kuskin. Born in Italy, he now lives in New York with his wife and their daughter, Viola.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a funny, enjoyable, interesting book that tells you everything you need to know about Space and all its mysteries. I really, really loved this book and I think it's the greatest!!