Packing for Mars for Kids

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Pub Date 05 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2022
W. W. Norton & Company, Norton Young Readers

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“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) asks the questions children ask in this young readers adaptation of her best-selling Packing for Mars.

What is it like to float weightlessly in the air? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a spacewalk? How do astronauts go to the bathroom? Is it true that they don’t shower? Can farts really be deadly in space?

Best-selling Mary Roach has the answers. In this whip-smart, funny, and informative young readers adaptation of her best-selling Packing for Mars, Roach guides us through the irresistibly strange, frequently gross, and awe-inspiring realm of space travel and life without gravity. From flying on NASA’s Weightless Wonder to eating space food, Packing for Mars for Kids is chock-full of first-hand experiences and thorough research. Roach has crafted an authoritative and accessible book that is perfectly pitched to inquiring middle grade readers.

About the Author: Mary Roach is the author of five best-selling works of nonfiction, including Grunt, Stiff, and, most recently, Fuzz. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications

“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) asks the questions children ask in this young readers adaptation of her best-selling Packing for Mars.

What is it like to float weightlessly in...

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ISBN 9781324019374
PRICE $16.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

The Washington Post calls Mary Roach America’s funniest science writer. I might add the word interesting to her description.
In Packing for Mars for Kids, she poses the questions children are curious about and let’s be honest we adults wonder these things too, This is a young reader's adaptation of her best-selling book, Packing for Mars.

We’ve all wondered…
What is it like to float weightlessly in the air?
What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a spacewalk?
How do astronauts go to the bathroom? This chapter is particularly gross, so don’t bring a snack.
Is it true that they don’t shower? And how does your skin adapt to no cleaning for weeks at a time?
Can farts really be deadly in space?

Mary Roach has the answers. This is a factual, funny, gross, enlightening and informative young readers adaptation of her best-selling Packing for Mars. This is a behind the scenes awe-inspiring realm of space travel and life without gravity. I wonder if the astronauts were pleased their most intimate secrets were revealed here? “Okay who left the turd floating in the capsule?!”

I bet you’ve eaten that freeze dried astronaut ice cream purchased from a science museum. The fact is the astronauts didn’t like it so the stuff only went up into space once.. There are no carbonated drinks in space because without gravity it’s really difficult to burp, and if you did manage to get one out, a spray of liquid came flying out with it. Embarrassing. So living in space in the beginning was pretty nasty.

The book is packed full of first-hand experiences laid out through thorough much research. This is an authoritative and appealing book that is perfectly pitched to inquiring middle grade readers.

Text is enhanced with 35 black and white photographs.

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Mary Roach brings a talent for craft and research insight to bear in a book that is sure to capture young readers. An engaging assembly of word and image.

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Get ready to get down and dirty with all the interesting and sometimes gross details on space travel and preparing for it. Author Mary Roach combines personal experiences with those of astronauts to take readers through the trials and tribulations of eating, sleeping, defecating, and puking in space (among other things--life fun science experiments). Highlights point out engineering and biological challenges that will uncover questions you never knew you had about space travel.

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Such a great and interesting book for my middle grade readers!

What would it really be like to be an astronaut? Roach covers all the basics down to the points that you may not think about! This covers, anti-gravity, barfing (that will float all over in your helmet), bathroom needs (gravity issues!), food (can't have crumbs floating and getting in the electronics!), lack of baths (think of wearing your clothes for 2 weeks straight) and a new roommate in a very tight space for a longer period of time than is pleasant!

This book will spur more questions and get you thinking beyond what is shared in a really great way!

Thank you to NetGalley and W.W. Norton & Company for the free e-reader copy in return for my honest review.

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This was such a well written, informative, engaging book. Mary Roach has such an approachable and fun writing style. This book was entertaining and informative for me and I am sure kids will love this book. The facts and history were laid out in a very approachable manner and the personal stories added depth to the narrative. It was great having photos included.

Very good book about space and space travel for kids of all ages.
Highly recommended.

my thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this eARC.

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Mary Roach's books for adults are fantastic, so I was delighted to read and recommend this kid-friendly version! Packing for Mars gives plenty of interesting fodder to students interested in astronauts and space exploration.

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I'm a huge fan of the adult Mary Roach books, and this is such a fun book for the younger set. It includes SO much information that children would have questions about. My son particularly loved the section about the evolution of how astronauts use the bathroom in space. We tend to think that it's such a glamorous job, but learning that early astronauts pooped on themselves all the time was eye opening! This is an approachable but not overly childish book of space travel fun! I'd highly recommend it!

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Have you ever wondered what astronauts actually eat or how long it takes for them to acclimate to each other’s body odor? Wonder no more, this book goes into every gory detail at what life in space is like. Full of fascinating information and just a bit (okay, a lot) of irreverence, you will learn more about the mechanics (and dangers!) of vomiting in a space suit or what the early space capsules smelled like than you’ll ever want to know. This book does an excellent job of examining some of the mundane tasks that must still be completed in space, and the technical wizardry the engineers performed to make it happen. Peppered with humorous dialogue from the earliest astronauts about their bodily functions, this is a truly captivating book about the some of the less investigated nuances of space travel. A laugh out loud look at what it’s REALLY like in space!

Many thanks to W.W. Norton & Company and Net Galley for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Such an interesting book! As an adult I learned a lot about how astronauts train and other aspects of space travel! Will definitely be purchasing for my library.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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