Mysterious Black Holes

World Scientific Publishing Company. Feb. 2021. 72p. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9789811233289; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9789811230875.
Gr 2-5–Ioli’s book offers readers a complete academic lesson on the subject of black holes told as a story. The narrative follows four friends as they frolic at the beach and learn all about the past, present, and future of black holes from Grandpa Louie, a retired professor and man who “knows everything.” A great complement to standard nonfiction titles, this book offers readers a fun story with a curious group of characters and lively illustrations. The curious learners in the story pose funny and insightful questions to Grandpa Louie that relate the topic of black holes to their everyday life. The pages are accompanied by various “Do You Know?” fact boxes that offer structured definitions and explanations of topics discussed throughout the story. Grandpa Louie engages the kids with his narrative all about black holes and the scientists and theories surrounding them. He talks about advances in technology and how they have helped us learn more about black holes. At the end of the story, there is a section titled “Black and the Black Hole: More Information,” full of additional information with science experiments, a glossary, and index, as well as a “Grownups’ Corner” with even more in-depth information for parents or the curious reader.
VERDICT This book is full of information and would be a great addition to an elementary school library collection. It would also be a great complement to more structured informational texts on the subject.

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