The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney

Alice B. McGinty, illus. by Elizabeth Haidle. Random/
Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6831-7
In 1930 Oxford, young Venetia Burney’s curiosity about the planets is sparked when she and her classmates conduct a “planet walk” around their school, placing objects to represent the known planets (“a bead for Mars and an orange for Jupiter”). In Haidle’s dusky art, Burney’s red coat sets her apart from her classmates and the somber-colored cobblestone streets. When a ninth planet is discovered, Burney suggests to her grandfather, a former head librarian at the Oxford library, that it should be named for the Roman God Neptune’s brother, Pluto, and he shares the name with a professor at the Royal Astronomical Society. The day before she turns 89, Burney views Pluto through a telescope for the first time: “there it is, that icy sphere spinning 3.67 billion miles from the sun, many paces past Neptune.” McGinty’s quiet story posits that any individual with a passionate interest can make a lasting contribution to the world. An author’s note and bibliography conclude. Ages 4–8. (May)
Reviewed on : 05/02/2019
Release date: 05/14/2019
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-1-5247-6832-4
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