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Martian Chronicles

23 May

The  4th graders are learning about Lewis & Clark and the Oregon Trail, so I have a stack of books about journeys and explorations for them. In keeping with the theme of exploration, I used two books about Mars exploration with them and both were huge hits. I opened by reading aloud You Are the First Kid on Mars  by Patrick O’Brien.

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So many reasons to love this book. I uses the future conditional verb tense. It is written in the 2nd person singular. The illustrations are amazing and the content is based on fact. We had some good discussions comparing the voyage of pilgrims in boats and the overland trip on the Oregon Trail to the 4 month trip to Mars. They had so many questions about Mars and space travel! It was awesome.

Fortunately, I had some backup in The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of SPIRIT and OPPORTUNITY. 

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Written by Portland author, Elizabeth Rusch, the book explains the design and mission of the two Mars rovers. The text is lengthy but understandable, focusing on the Steve Squyres, the principal investigator on the mission. The photography is literally out of this world! Elizabeth Rusch was one of our keynote speakers at the 2013 Oregon Association of School Libraries conference. She is an excellent speaker, thorough researcher and write great non-fiction for young people. She has a new book coming out on volcanoes & I already have it on hold at the library, even though it is still on order. I just know it will be good.

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