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Sticks
2007-May-27, 06:50 PM
What would the reading age of the book Bad Astronomy be?

Would it be above the head of someone 7 to 9

Without them ever seeing the book a relative said it was too old.

Noclevername
2007-May-27, 06:58 PM
Never too young to start learning to tell good science from bad!

hhEb09'1
2007-May-27, 07:20 PM
Without them ever seeing the book a relative said it was too old.Relative of whom? the recipient? if so, they might know what is appropriate. Some kids devour calculus at four, you know. :)

Gillianren
2007-May-29, 04:33 AM
I'd've handled it just fine at age 9. Can't say about anyone else without knowing the person in question, though.

Fazor
2007-May-29, 05:58 PM
Just use a sharpie to change the title to "Harry Potter and the Cloak of Bad Astronomy!" and he/she will read it just fine. :)

Noclevername
2007-Jun-02, 06:35 PM
Just tell the kid to look up whatever they don't understand. Kids are good at that, and reading "above" your level can be an education in itself.

Sticks
2007-Jun-02, 09:23 PM
I tend to think that most things can be understood if you take the effort to. I have this issue with someone who says people should not have to take the time to say download and install Adobe Acrobat reader as they are too busy, so I have to supply documents in Word format.

Since it is not a book written exclusively for little children, they have decided it will not be suitable and it is for adults only. Plus any book for children must have lots of pictures.

Is BA around, so he can say if his book is suitable for a 7 year old who has, they say the reading age of 9?

hhEb09'1
2007-Jun-03, 03:18 PM
maybe if the 7 year old had a reading age of 12 :)

JOOC how are you determining reading age?

The Bad Astronomer
2007-Jun-05, 09:50 PM
My daughter is 11, and I know she could handle a lot of it. Then again, her father is an astronomer. :-) I would think a typical 12 year old would do OK, and younger kids might need more help.

Richard B. Drumm
2007-Jul-14, 04:38 AM
Phil:
Then I'll just have to get a copy of it into my 13 year old's hands. She's in middle school now and won't go to star parties anymore because "My friends won't be there!" Yours will probably do this soon... Don't take it personally, it's a phase they go through. But a book? That's another matter, no friends needed! That just might help keep her astronomy chops honed!

Attached is a photo from Xmas 2005. She was thrilled.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-14, 05:45 AM
A seven to nine year old could read it if her reading skills were well in advance of most children that age. However, a child that age would probably only read it if her interests included astronomy. If she's not interested she'll never read it without massive bribery. And even if a child is extremely bright they still will usually not start to develop the capacity for adult levels of abstract thought until they become teenagers, so even if she was interested and read the book and retained a great deal of it, she might have difficulty applying what she learned to different situations to determine what is reasonable astronomy and what is bad astronomy. Remember that many seven year olds still believe in Santa Claus and other gods.

Sticks
2007-Jul-14, 08:33 AM
So what book would you recommend for someone of that age?

WaxRubiks
2007-Jul-14, 09:34 AM
perhaps, what you are hinting at, Sticks, is that the BA could write a book, specifically for that age?

Sticks
2007-Jul-14, 09:47 AM
perhaps, what you are hinting at, Sticks, is that the BA could write a book, specifically for that age?

I think Phil has another project on the go, I was after an off the shelf solution.

crosscountry
2007-Jul-14, 09:48 AM
Just tell the kid to look up whatever they don't understand. Kids are good at that, and reading "above" your level can be an education in itself.



I'm reading a children's bible right now with lots of pictures. It's way over my head. But of course it is in a foreign language I'm just now starting to get the hang of.

Gillianren
2007-Jul-15, 06:11 PM
I disagree with your ideas about children, Ronald, I'm afraid. The children of my experience have made plenty of abstract leaps before puberty.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-15, 06:18 PM
I disagree with your ideas about children, Ronald, I'm afraid. The children of my experience have made plenty of abstract leaps before puberty.He qualified it, he didn't say children weren't capable of abstract thought, just not many are capable of "adult levels of abstract thought". Probably meant things like "Santa Claus is a god" and similar adult abstractions. :)

Gillianren
2007-Jul-15, 08:37 PM
I don't think I ever thought Santa Claus was a god, and by seven, I knew his only existence was as a Catholic saint.

crosscountry
2007-Jul-16, 12:09 AM
you were luckier than some.




what does abstract thought have to do with Bad Astronomy?


I'm afraid to think that some of you give it more credit than just a compilation of easily found knowledge.

Sticks
2007-Jul-16, 05:17 AM
Meanwhile, what children's book on astronomy would one recommend?

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-16, 05:59 AM
I disagree with your ideas about children, Ronald, I'm afraid. The children of my experience have made plenty of abstract leaps before puberty.

I was referring more to cognitive abilities such as described by Piaget's formal operations stage. And while I'm sure these abilities are correllated with puberty, I don't think they are dependant upon it.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-16, 06:08 AM
what does abstract thought have to do with Bad Astronomy?

I'm afraid to think that some of you give it more credit than just a compilation of easily found knowledge.Ouch :)

but, uh, abstract does not mean abstruse

crosscountry
2007-Jul-16, 08:56 AM
maybe the word "just" is harsh. I give Phil a lot of credit for putting it all together, and he may even have come up with a little of that on his own.

What I use the book for is when a friend says something silly about astronomy rather than going through the fuss (which I would have done before reading the book) I just point said friend to the chapter involved. Phil nicely puts things together so I can save the time of explaining it myself.

tbm
2007-Jul-16, 10:32 PM
Phil:
Then I'll just have to get a copy of it into my 13 year old's hands. She's in middle school now and won't go to star parties anymore because "My friends won't be there!" Yours will probably do this soon... Don't take it personally, it's a phase they go through. But a book? That's another matter, no friends needed! That just might help keep her astronomy chops honed!

Attached is a photo from Xmas 2005. She was thrilled.

Dad, is that you?

tbm

The Bad Astronomer
2007-Jul-17, 11:30 PM
Phil:

Attached is a photo from Xmas 2005. She was thrilled.

That's is FANTASTIC! Mind if I mention that on my blog and link to this thread?

galaxygirl
2007-Aug-02, 04:25 AM
Meanwhile, what children's book on astronomy would one recommend?

Iím not so great at determining which books are appropriate for a particular age although I can give you the names of some books that I have read during my childhood:

The Usborne Complete Book of Astronomy and Space
New Astronomer by Carole Stott
anything from The Magic Schoolbus

And as a graduation gift my astronomy teacher gave me a rather huge book called Cosmos by Giles Sparrow. It has tons of huge pretty pictures which was what attracted me to astronomy when I was that age.

That's all I can think of right now but if any more come to mind I'll be sure to post them.

kiless
2007-Aug-06, 11:20 AM
My class of Year 10s (aged 14-15 years of age) last year contained a few students who enjoyed reading the book, with one student using it as the basis of her report - on Moon Hoaxes.

This year I've have one 13 year old use some of it as the basis of her report on astrology.

My suggestions for younger readers include - these were suggested by our librarian and involved some looking on the shelves:
The Planets (http://www.amazon.com/Planets-Starting-Space-Cynthia-Nicolson/dp/1550747169/ref=cm_cr-mr-title/103-0170846-5077460) - note that Pluto is still included.
When is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto (http://www.amazon.com/When-Planet-Not-Story-Pluto/dp/0618898328/ref=sr_1_61/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398925&sr=1-61 ) - very timely!
National Geographic Planets, Stars, and Galaxies: A Visual Encyclopedia of Our Universe (http://www.amazon.com/Planets-Stars-Galaxies-Encyclopedia-Universe/dp/1426301707/ref=sr_1_13/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398867&sr=1-13)
Janice VanCleave's the Solar System: Mind-Boggling Experiments You Can Turn into Science Fair Projects (Paperback) (http://www.amazon.com/Janice-VanCleaves-Solar-System-Mind-Boggling/dp/0471322040/ref=pd_bbs_3/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398542&sr=8-3)
Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities (http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Solar-System-History-Activities/dp/1556527152/ref=sr_1_2/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398867&sr=1-2)

(oh - Solar System for the shower... ( http://www.amazon.com/Solar-System-Shower-Curtain-vinyl/dp/B0006ZNEMU/ref=sr_1_8/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1186398542&sr=8-8))

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-01, 01:29 AM
When I was in second grade, I had a tenth grade reading level. I read C.S. Lewis' Narnia books at eight. I just recently read Cosmos and I'm still to young to drive. My brothers couldn't read until they were about six. Reading levels are different for everybody.

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-01, 04:01 AM
I read C.S. Lewis' Narnia books at eight. It looks like the Narnia books are generally considered to be appropriate for grade three or four (US, about age nine). I'd think they'd be more accessible than the BA's book(s).

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-01, 08:58 PM
It looks like the Narnia books are generally considered to be appropriate for grade three or four (US, about age nine). I'd think they'd be more accessible than the BA's book(s).
I know some 14 year olds Narnia would be over the heads of.

laserdude45
2007-Oct-02, 01:00 AM
Despite the age in my profile... I'm actually 13. My reading level is around College which I'd say is quite good considering my age ;)

I'd probably have understood that book around the age of 10!

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-04, 09:30 PM
Despite the age in my profile... I'm actually 13. My reading level is around College which I'd say is quite good considering my age
I'd probably have understood that book around the age of 10!
Welcome to BAUT, laserdude. 3dknight, jbryce, The Radiation Specialist and myself are all relative youngsters, too.

laurele
2007-Oct-05, 10:17 PM
My class of Year 10s (aged 14-15 years of age) last year contained a few students who enjoyed reading the book, with one student using it as the basis of her report - on Moon Hoaxes.

This year I've have one 13 year old use some of it as the basis of her report on astrology.

My suggestions for younger readers include - these were suggested by our librarian and involved some looking on the shelves:
The Planets (http://www.amazon.com/Planets-Starting-Space-Cynthia-Nicolson/dp/1550747169/ref=cm_cr-mr-title/103-0170846-5077460) - note that Pluto is still included.
When is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto (http://www.amazon.com/When-Planet-Not-Story-Pluto/dp/0618898328/ref=sr_1_61/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398925&sr=1-61 ) - very timely!
National Geographic Planets, Stars, and Galaxies: A Visual Encyclopedia of Our Universe (http://www.amazon.com/Planets-Stars-Galaxies-Encyclopedia-Universe/dp/1426301707/ref=sr_1_13/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398867&sr=1-13)
Janice VanCleave's the Solar System: Mind-Boggling Experiments You Can Turn into Science Fair Projects (Paperback) (http://www.amazon.com/Janice-VanCleaves-Solar-System-Mind-Boggling/dp/0471322040/ref=pd_bbs_3/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398542&sr=8-3)
Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities (http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Solar-System-History-Activities/dp/1556527152/ref=sr_1_2/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186398867&sr=1-2)

(oh - Solar System for the shower... ( http://www.amazon.com/Solar-System-Shower-Curtain-vinyl/dp/B0006ZNEMU/ref=sr_1_8/103-0170846-5077460?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1186398542&sr=8-8))

I have a problem with the books stating "Pluto is not a planet" as a fact rather than as one point of view in an ongoing controversy. It is a disservice to teach only this view when it is still heavily contested among professional astronomers. It would be great to have a kids' book that presented both sides and then asked them to draw their own conclusions and keep following the latest updates. I'm also disappointed that I can't find any books for my four-year-old nephew that include Eris in the list of planets. Every time we look at books on the solar system (he can't read yet, so it's mostly just pictures), I have to explain that Eris was just found and hasn't made it into the books yet.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-06, 02:26 AM
Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities
Just bought that in New Haven back in June. Great stuff!

Noclevername
2007-Oct-10, 02:07 AM
My nephew's two and a half, and he insists I read him his book about dinosaurs. For a few months now, he's been learning about (and saying correctly) the names of dinosaurs that most adults wouldn't be able to name (because they weren't in Jurassic Park). I'll ask him which dinosaur has three horns, and he'll say "Twicewetops! That's my fav'wit!" (He also says that Iguanadon, Stegosaurus and Baryonix are his favorites).

Okay, this was more "bragging uncle" than advice on children's books. But it shows not to saddle a kid with "kiddie" books, just because of their age. The higher you set the bar, the more pleasantly surprised you'll be at how high kids can jump.

cjl
2007-Oct-16, 08:05 AM
Welcome to BAUT, laserdude. 3dknight, jbryce, The Radiation Specialist and myself are all relative youngsters, too.

What are you counting as a youngster?

I'm 17 and a freshman in college :)

Gillianren
2007-Oct-16, 07:56 PM
According to the Social Security Administration, anyone under 50 is young.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-16, 09:37 PM
According to the Social Security Administration, anyone under 50 is young.
And according to a speech I heard at the UN, anyone under 25 counts as a kid.

crosscountry
2007-Oct-17, 04:00 PM
I'm 26 and call 20 and 25 year olds kids.

Sticks
2007-Nov-20, 01:54 PM
Well I have ordered for my nephew Gods in the Sky: Astronomy from the Ancients to the Enlightenment (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0752261649)

I was told he was into books and had an interest in science and history, so this seemed the obvious choice to me, but I bet my younger sister might still think it is too old for him, just like she said about Phil's book without even seeing it. (It cost £4.92 + £2.75 p&p = £7.67 from Amazon, Although IIRC when it first came out it cost a lot more and that higher price is on the dust jacket :doh: )

I now have to find equivelant stationery sets for the other two (nieces)

ravens_cry
2008-May-09, 03:14 AM
I learned to read at age 7, but by the next year had a grade 9 reading comprehension level. So yes, I would probably have been able to read the book by then.

crosscountry
2008-May-09, 03:59 PM
darn grade 9 Canadians.