Children's Bookshelf: Voyager's Greatest Hits

Nov 20, 2017

This week on The Children's Bookshelf, Dr. Sue Ann Martin reviews "Voyager's Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space," written by Aledandra Siy. She says it is sure to captivate readers age 10 and older.

Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space written by science writer Alexandra Siy is a fascinating story of the twin unmanned space crafts’ incredible mission. This historical account of the 1977 Voyager Planetary Mission  to Jupiter and Saturn and then to its extended mission in 1981 to Uranus and Neptune and in 1990 out to the space between the stars known as the Voyager Interstellar Mission is spellbinding.

The discoveries made are discussed clearly and interestingly in this well-written book. Some of the discoveries include three new moons at both Jupiter and Saturn, ten new moons and two new rings at Uranus and six new moons at Neptune. The Great Dark Spot on Neptune is a huge storm system bigger than Earth! Volcanoes were found on Jupiter’s moon Io making it the most volcanic place in the solar system. And no planets or moons were found to be alike!

On the side of each spaceship is a time capsule called The Golden Record. It includes a message from President Jimmy Carter and greetings in fifty-five languages.  The playlist is extensive and includes music from Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Chuck Berry to a Peruvian wedding song, a Navajo chant and a Chinese folk song.

The beautiful NASA photographs and the helpful artist renderings throughout the 80 pages are very engaging. Included in the back material are a useful Glossary, a list of Sources, an extensive Index and a list of 19 current websites where the young reader can find out more about all aspects of this groundbreaking project.

Voyager's Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space written by Alexandra Siy will captivate readers age 10 and older who are interested in keeping up with the Solar System and beyond (Charlesbridge,2017). This is Sue Ann Martin for The Children’s Bookshelf.   

Questions and activities for Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space

Go to the “Keeping Up with the Voyagers” section in the back material. There are numbers of websites where you can go to see the list of music and greetings included on The Golden Record. A wide variety of music across genres and cultures was sent into space as a time capsule in 1977. Look at the list. What surprises you? If you were to program a new golden record to be sent into space in 2018 what music would you include?

What discoveries made by the Voyagers interests you the most? Why? Name the NASA photographs that engage your imagination the most? Why? How do these “finds” impact your own understanding of our solar system?  In one word how does it all make you feel?

What do you think an alien might look like if a community was ever found? Use your imagination and draw a picture. Don’t hold back. Have fun!