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Science and nature books for middle schoolers

Tired of the dry, academic tomes that purport to teach science? GreatSchools rounds out our grade-by-grade recommendations for science and nature books with this excellent, irrevent collection by artist Simon Basher, plus topical picks on the environment and global warming.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Astronomy: Out of this World!

Astronomy: Out of this World!
by Simon Basher and Dan Green
Kingfisher (2009)

Part of a highly original series, Astronomy features eye-popping illustrations in the style of Japanese animation. In Simon Basher's world, the planets talk about themselves, offering facts, statistics, and boasts — and a little bit of whimsy. Basher's books make learning science fun.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

04/23/2012:
"I've checked out a series of one of these books. They teach evolution which is false. I quickly returned the book. "
02/8/2010:
"Basically a picture book, not a textbook, so please enlighten me. How is a book about the Table of Elements political? Are you annoyed that 'greatschools' reviewing science? Even home schools have children's books that introduce concepts. I have 1st and 3rd graders who read at 8th grade level, and yet I'd never confuse this for a scholarly treatise. Does your home schoool teach tots about the elements?"
12/28/2009:
"It amazes me how educating children has to be made fun by those in education, or it is not worth doing (according to them). When is it time to be serious? Are our children so immature that they can only learn by cartoons and games? I don't think so. It's time to start being serious about how and what our children are taught. By the way, when do they start learning about global cooling in our schools?"
12/28/2009:
"Political fiction like this crap shouldn't be served up to our young children as if it were fact. Politics have no place in our schools. This is why my kids go to a private Christian school so they are not exposed to these lies. I suspect that greatschools.org has a liberal agenda so we shouldn't be surprised. Shame on you."
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