Voyager's Greatest Hits
by Alexandra Siy

Price at time of review: $18.99
74 pp.
Charlesbridge Publishing
Watertown, MA
ISBN: 9781580897280

Grade Level: 5-8

Reviewed by Deborah Stevens

Voyager’s Greatest Hits by Alexandra Siy is clever. Siy organizes her book about the Voyager Planetary Mission into eight ‘tracks’ or chapters; the software used on Voyager 1 and 2 is on eight track recorders. Imagine forty year old eight tracks still running? Who knew eight track software could be updated? Voyager’s Greatest Hits is chock–full of information about the two Voyagers and their epic journey. Siy had fun writing this book, which has loads of literary, cultural, and musical references, such as Track Four about Saturn, titled, ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Freebirds’ to describe the two Voyagers leaving our solar system. Siy weaves some planetary history into the Voyager story. For example, in Track 3, ‘King Jupiter’, Siy discusses Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s moons in 1610 and the discovery of Jupiter’s ‘Great Red Spot’ by Robert Hooke and Giovanni Cassini in 1665. Siy’s prose draws the reader into her story. In Track 7, Cosmic Cruisers, under the heading, ‘Suspended in a Sunbeam’, she writes, “She found Neptune, a blurry blue bead in a sapphire–specked sea. There was Uranus, smeared like a drip of wet paint.” I haven’t mentioned the images! Throughout the book are images from two Voyagers, the Hubble telescope, and a variety of observatories and collage images. Siy includes diagrams, too. Voyager’s instruments are labeled in an excellent diagram. The Glossary, the lists of additional resources, and the index will help a budding astronomer to learn more about Voyager, especially the website, ‘Where are the Voyagers right now?’ Voyager’s Greatest Hits has been carefully researched and packed with new information about the planets at the far reaches of the solar system. Siy concludes with Track 8, ‘Voyager’s Alien Playlist’, a description of the ‘Golden Records’ , a message from Earth to aliens finding Voyager. Imagine selecting the songs to record! Librarians should put this title at the top of their STEM wish lists particularly for upper elementary–aged children. This book is sure to become a classic.

Review posted on 8/17/2017

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