Rather than ignominiously booting Pluto out of the planetary fold, Aguilar, Director of Science Information at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, shepherds it back into the flock along with its two dwarf planet buddies, Ceres and Eris, offering readers a readjusted and inclusive view of our Sun's orbiters. There's no real discussion here of why Pluto was downgraded (for that, see Scott's When Is a Planet Not a Planet?, BCCB 10/07), but that seems less an omission than tacit acknowledgment that the dustup has been settled. What is included is a page or two of lucidly written highlights of each planet (terrestrial, gaseous, or dwarf ), stunning illustrations (rendered by Aguilar, unless otherwise indicated in a caption), and insets showing the derivation of the planet's name and its orbital path. End matter is particularly useful, comprising an index, glossary, web sites, a chart of fast facts, a chart of readers' estimated Earth weight on other terrestrial planets, and a "Solar System in a Grocery Bag" that frames the planets' in relation to common foodstuffs. This should be a staple item in middle elementary school collections, and it's an attractive, browsable title for anyone musing over interplanetary adventure. [End Page 457]
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Aguilar, David A.; 11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System. National Geographic, 2008; 48p illus. with photographs. Library ed. ISBN 978-1-4263-0237-4 $25.90 Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4263-0236-7 $16.95 R Gr. 3-6
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