Cybils Nonfiction: How to Make a Planet

Ah, the Cybils nominations for elementary and middle grade nonfiction are almost complete, and what a wonderful list it is. Today at Wrapped in Foil we reviewed How to Make a Planet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Earth by Scott Forbes and illustrated by Jean Camden, a middle grade title from the list.


How to Make a Planet… races through the consensus of what scientists have discovered about our universe so far, from the best estimate of the time of the Big Bang (13.7 billion years ago) to when the Earth formed (4.7 billion years ago) to modern times using the premise of building a planet as a way to keep the information focused. At the same time, the text hurtles through various fields of science, encompassing astronomy, physics, chemistry, earth science, geology and even biology. Although it covers so much territory, it is still easy to read and understandable because Scott Forbes has done an excellent job of organizing and condensing the material. The book will help make big numbers and mind-blowing concepts accessible to everyone.

Even though the book covers a lot of territory and a lot of time, the bottom line is that our planet is a unique place and that we should take care of it. It is definitely a good resource for units on astronomy and earth science, particularly those covering the solar system.