Cover Image: Packing for Mars for Kids

Packing for Mars for Kids

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

My son loved this book! I mean there was a section about ‘barfing on the ceiling’ what boy wouldn’t love that? There was so much cool information all through the book with nifty pictures too!
Was this review helpful?
This middle grade adaptation of the author’s Packing for Mars provides readers with insight into how space travel impacts the basic functions of the human body. Readers who think that space travel and astronaut life is glamorous might think again after reading Roach’s book! The questions that most appeal to young readers are explored in this book through discussions of gravity, eating, and bodily functions. Roach presents information in an accessible, engaging way, explaining the challenges astronauts faced and how engineers worked to address them. This book would be great as a companion to a fiction book about space.
Was this review helpful?
Loved the adult book and the kids version is even better since I am not as smart as I would like to pretend I am.
Was this review helpful?
This was a pretty informative and very funny book. However my only problem with this “kids” book is that one paragraph near the end mentions how an astronaut had suicidal thoughts….. I don’t think that should have been mentioned or described the way it was, in a kids book. Besides that one paragraph, like I said before it was pretty insightful and also hilarious from the way astronauts had to find and test different “bathroom procedures”, to the hazards that even crumbs from their food could cause. 

I definitely walked away from this book with a lot more space/NASA fun facts than I thought I would!
Was this review helpful?
Great information for all ages. This book answers ALL the questions that we may have been to embarrassed to ask. Fun book.
Was this review helpful?
I've developed an even deeper appreciation for early astronauts after reading this.   The practical challenges of space travel are myriad and very challenging to solve.   I'm in awe of what those first volunteers endured because, frankly, it doesn't sound easy now, and that's after 50+ years of experience and improvements!  

This would be an interesting enrichment book for middle school students.   It doesn't really cover a critical science knowledge area, but it would be good reading practice for kids working on reading for comprehension and interest.   The subject matter is quite gross, but the prose is very readable and the "ick" factor might actually be enough to get a reluctant reader interested.    This would be a nice addition to school and community libraries.  

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
Was this review helpful?
I have thoroughly enjoyed every book I have read by Mary Roach. The research she undertakes is amazing, and the manner in which she presents these science topics makes me want to read more about science. 

PACKING FOR MARS FOR KIDS is a wonderful introduction into the life, research, and living conditions astronauts face each and every day. Yes, the questions we all have are answered in this book. Adults have the same questions, but kids are most likely to ask them. It is fascinating to read the struggles early astronauts faced with tasks we do every day without even thinking about. I also found it very interesting how NASA scientists work to design, create, and test items for astronauts in order to provide the astronauts with nutrition, hygiene issues, etc.
Was this review helpful?
What is the greatest challenge for a rocket scientist? It turns out it is the human body. In seven chapters, crackling with curiosity and packed with surprising information, Roach opens our eyes to the many startling, impressive, and odiferous challenges space travel poses to astronauts and the engineers tasked with getting them off the earth. Packed with facts and unforgettable anecdotes, the slim volume is also beautifully organized and tightly written: moving from gravity, through what it’s like to fly, eliminations of all kinds, eating, hygiene and the kind of roommate issues that result from very small rooms. Lots of photographs, interviews, and startling transcripts of what mission control really says to astronauts, enliven an already fascinating text. Happily the focus is not entirely on bodily discomfort, as Roach elegantly frames the exploration of human space travel with the Monglofiers first balloon ascent and ends with Benjamin Franklin’s telling quote on that escape from gravity – an assessment as apt for travel to Mars as it was of our first attempt to rise above the soil. While there are strangely no sources or bibliography in this version of an adult book modified for children, much of the text is made up of directly attributed quotes, transcripts and personal experience. Many thanks to Norton and NetGalley for an e-ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and W.W Norton & Company for the ARC of this! 

I absolutely love Mary Roach and the tone of her books, and read the adult version of this myself and loved it. I was very excited to share this kid’s version with my 8-year old who has shown an interest in space. This hit all the right notes with her and we had days that she wanted me to read aloud more chapters than my voice was prepared to cooperate with. She especially liked hearing about how astronauts poop in space and space food. Definitely a fun look at the difficulties of being an astronaut, I recommend this for all space fans who could use a funny, informational, look inside space ships.
Was this review helpful?
With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy in return for an honest review.

4.5 stars for this entertaining non-fiction. Roach did an outstanding job weaving together answers to all the questions kids want to ask about space travel and entertainment. The book was clearly well researched and an interesting look at how our bodies work in space. It was also particularly interesting to learn about how scientists prepare for trips to space.
Was this review helpful?
This is a cool book it answers all the weird kinda gross questions about space travel I ever wondered about and some more that it never even occurred to me to wonder about. I liked that it was funny without being too silly or relying on gross out humor, it still feels appropriately serious for the difficult work scientists do to make space travel as pleasant as possible. This is a really cool look at how our bodies work in space.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you #Netgalley for the electronic advance reader copy of Packing for Mars for Kids.

As a kid I remember reading Mary Roach's essays in the Reader's Digest. She was always funny. I've read other books of hers as an adult and found myself entertained not just with the information she presents, but with her curiosity and interest in even the most mundane details. She asks the questions that normally go unasked. For example, in this book she tells of interviewing astronaut Jim Lovell about skin oil and dandruff, and notes his bemused observation that her questions aren't typical space station fare. As a kid her questions and way of looking at the world reflected my own curiosity; as an adult, I'm still drawn in by her approach.

In a series of concise and entertaining chapters, Roach explores where the quotidian meets outer space. The one topic that she skipped that would have fit naturally alongside explorations of bathing, farting, eating, and using the restroom in space, would be menstruation. But otherwise, the narrative is bursting with interesting information about living in space and is visually punctuated with photographs. Beyond just simple hygiene and body functions, she even covers the mental stresses of being in space: the limited company and limited resources available. I really enjoyed the range of topics combined with the humorous and conversational approach.

Would recommend for those curious about how astronauts live their lives.

Note: there was no backmatter in the eARC, which I would hope would be included in the final edition of the book.
Was this review helpful?
This informative young readers adaptation of Packing for Mars answers questions that young readers would likely want to know about space travel.  Mary Roach tackles subjects like eating, personal hygiene, and weightlessness, all in a way that young readers will understand.  The author does spend too much time on bathroom habits, though the information about the prototypes and research into the best ways to help astronauts is very interesting.

Packing for Mars for Kids had a lot of facts and tidbits, but I wish that the author had included more from astronauts themselves.  I actually felt like the book just dropped off at the end and would have benefitted from a few more pages.  Overall, children will probably like Packing for Mars for Kids, so I would recommend it to the target audience.

Disclaimer: I was given an Advanced Readers Copy by NetGalley and the publisher, Norton Young Readers.  The decision to read and review Packing for Mars for Kids was entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Really excellent non-fiction that's both entertaining and approachably educational! Very glad Mary Roach could make a young readers edition of Packing for Mars; it's a perfect fit for kids who love space.
Was this review helpful?
“To Explore space is to keep the door open to the future.” 

This is such a fun book for children interested in space exploration. Mary Roach has a way with making her books both fun and educational. 

She includes engaging topics such as what it’s like to fly, where do you go to the bathroom, and how do you take a bath. She includes fun photos including one of fake poop used for testing by NASA. 

I read the adult version of this book and loved it so much! Mary Roach did not disappoint with her version for children.
Was this review helpful?
I cannot rave about this books enough! I love Mary Roach, so when I saw a kids book I just had to read it, and it did not disappoint! There are fantastic photos throughout and the kid of funny (and gross) questions kids like to ask about space. Roach uses these as a jumping off point to delve deeper into the science, and it’s just brilliant!
Was this review helpful?
Somehow I hadn't read any Mary Roach books before this, but I loved Packing for Mars for Kids! Roach goes over the nitty gritty of space travel, including some pretty weird stuff! I don't read a lot of science books, but found this so interesting. Especially considering the dangers of space and how the lack of gravity changes everything. I loved the weird and gross space facts and found myself literally laughing out loud about the horrible possibilities of becoming sick in a space suit. I tried reading this with my just turned 7 year old and though it kept his interest for a little while, the information seemed a little bit beyond his comprehension. I would recommend this book for maybe 9-12 year olds, especially if they're interested in space travel. It's such an entertaining read and great for reading together. 

Thank you W.W. Norton / Norton Young Readers and NetGalley for providing this ebook ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The author, Mary Roach, has taken her adult book called Packing for Mars and rewritten it to be appropriate for kids. This is a non-fiction book that describes her research as she learns what it is like to be an astronaut. She focuses on the basics of life...like eating, going to the bathroom, keeping clean, and getting along with others. There is a lot of talk about bodily functions and grossness. It should really appeal to kids. "Are you getting the idea that life in space is kind of nasty?"...this quote from the book really sums up the majority of content. The last chapter truly addresses Mars. The other chapters cover the history of space travel and how scientists have made progress in making space missions more comfortable. After reading this book, you realize that space travel is truly difficult. 

This book is a fast read and should be a great choice for a reluctant reader. It includes photographs and is 144 pages long. Great for grades 4-7.

This book comes out on April 5th. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced egalley.
Was this review helpful?
This very readable book about space travel highlights the more unsavory aspects like going to the bathroom, vomiting, doing without a shower, unappealing food and so on that astronauts contend with. This may sound unappealing, but these chapters will appeal to young readers who frequently ask about these kinds of things. I confess I read the book straight through. The style is interesting and the facts were certainly new to me.
Was this review helpful?
I first became acquainted with Mary Roach a number of years ago when she wrote for Readers Digest. Columns by her were  always one of my favorite things in the magazine, and I was very disappointed when she no longer wrote them. Since then, I have read several  books by her and enjoyed every one of them.

I appreciate that she wrote this book for children. It is a interesting account of what it is like  to be an astronaut.  From the beginning of space travel, with monkeys in the rockets instead of people, to the first astronauts that  traveled  to space, Roach does an excellent job of providing plenty of information to satisfy a child's curiosity.
Was this review helpful?