Gr 3-5-Skurzynski offers a well-written expository treatment of scientific principles that children will enjoy. Bright, full-color photographs on every page and an easy-to-read, large-print text make the subject immediate and visually inviting. She starts with a definition and history of gravity and progresses through how zero gravity changes life in space. Each concept is reinforced with a well-chosen picture that's sure to capture children's interest, such as M&Ms floating into one astronaut's mouth and another upside down. The tone is lively and will keep even reluctant readers' attention with its clarity. This is an excellent book that should be useful in whole-language science classrooms as well as for general reading. Students may start it for report information, but they will finish it for fun.-Tina Smith Entwistle, Oakley Park Elementary School, MI
Skurzynski discusses the sensation of zero gravity in orbiting space shuttles, explaining it in terms of physical forces, and then describes astronauts' experiences of weightlessness while orbiting the earth. Her discussion of the physics of gravity, orbiting, and zero gravity, using examples such as a roller coaster at the top of a loop or a ball twirled on a string, raises some interesting points but falls short of producing a clear, coherent explanation. On the other hand, the section on how astronauts manage in a weightless environment is fascinating. Full-color illustrations appear throughout the book, including many intriguing photographs of astronauts sleeping, working, and playing with food aboard the space shuttles. A brief but intriguing book combining the science of space travel with human experience.