________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 29. . . .April 1, 2016


Ten of the Best Adventures in Space. (Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure).

David West.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2016.
24 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & html, $8.95 (pbk.) $18.36 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1842-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1836-9 (RLB), ISBN 978-1-4271-7804-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4271-7798-8 (html).

Subject Headings:
Manned space flight-History-Juvenile literature.
Space flights-Juvenile literature.
Astronautics-Juvenile literature.
Astronauts-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-4 / Ages 8-9.

Review by Alise Nelson.

**˝ /4


On April 12, 1961, a young girl runs through a field screaming for her mother. Looking up, her mother sees a strange figure approaching, dressed in orange and wearing a white helmet. The figure assures her that he is a Soviet and explains that his name is Yuri Gagarin – and he has just returned from space.


Ten of the Best Adventures in Space is a concise introduction to some of the larger events in space exploration. Each story is approximately one page of text with an accompanying decorative colour illustration and diagram of the space vessel referred to in the story. The diagrams are interesting and easy to understand. Each page includes a photo of the astronauts. There is also an excellent 14 word glossary of some of the lesser known space terms mentioned throughout the book.

     Stories covered include Yuri Gagarin’s first trip to space, the first spacewalk, the dramatic repair of the Hubble telescope, and the explosion of the Challenger.

     The brevity of the writing is both a pro and a con. Children that can only take information in small doses will appreciate not being bogged down by detail. However, kids wanting more details will need to look elsewhere to satisfy their curiosity. This perhaps makes the book more suited for recreational reading than for classroom use. That being said, the book is very well researched and is certainly a useful teaching tool.

     David West is a prolific author of nonfiction books for children. He has written extensively on dinosaurs, naturalism, and different types of machines. Ten of the Best Adventures in Space is part of new series called “Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure” which encompass space, the jungle, the ocean, and barren landscapes, among others.


Alise Nelson is a graduate of the Simon Fraser and holds a Certificate in Liberal Arts as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in English and History. She is currently a Reader’s Advisor with the Prince George Public Library in BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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