What do you MEAN I’m not a PLANET anymore?Pluto Gets the call
When some earth scientists decide Pluto isn’t a planet anymore, the solar system’s largest ice dwarf has a bit of an identity crisis. Pluto ventures out of the Kuiper Belt to visit his friends Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, and even Sun. Each of the other space objects use their unique personalities to cheer Pluto up.
While I remember the hullabaloo that ensued after the International Astronomical Union’s 2006 declaration that Pluto was no longer a planet, my third-grade students were born years after the determination was made. They’ve always known there to be eight planets, and they were fascinated to learn about the history behind the change. Adam Rex’s signature humor made Pluto’s plight engaging for the readers in my classroom, and Laurie Keller’s illustrations brought the planets’ personalities to life.
While Pluto Gets the Call earns a place on classroom bookshelves for entertainment alone, it also teaches a valuable lesson through its author’s note. Scientific understandings can shift the more we learn, and things we believe to be true today may change based on new evidence. Perhaps our students will be the ones to change our understandings as they engage in science over their lifetimes.
- On the humor: “It’s so funny how the planets could talk and they have different things about them.” “I love when they joke with Jupiter!” “I like the relationship between all the planets. They all have different humors.”
- On the illustrations: “I love how she draws the planets!”
- On the science: “Scientists are still learning! They keep changing their thoughts about planets.”