Children's LiteratureThe books from "Isaac Asimov's 21st Century Library of the Universe" series are soundly written with plenty of clear scientific explanations and interesting facts, but they are not terribly exciting. Each book reads like the next, as they all progress through the history of scientific discoveries leading to what we know about the particularly celestial body today. This book aims to hook readers by focusing on the possibility of life on Mars. Though it is very clear that there is no life on Mars, the book presents the evidence that leads scientists to believe that there could be. For example, we see the canals as well as the polar ice caps and hear of Lowell's story. In this way, readers can understand the reason for the hoopla and form their own opinion. The book then moves to explore the possibility of human life on Mars. Unfortunately, the topic is only briefly covered and there is no discussion of the implications of human life on Mars. This lack of reflection is a frustrating, especially since the authors never explain why living on Mars is such a fascinating possibility and why it is worth pursuing. As such, the book is a collection of wonderful facts, but not a coherent view of how to understand the night sky. 2004 (orig. 1988), Gareth Stevens Publishing, Ages 6 to 10.