Saturday, January 28, 2012


By Kevin Hodgson
Staff Writer

Gravity is one of those unseen things that can truly perplex young people. Maybe older people, too. Why don’t we just drift off into space? My sons have all asked me that question at one time or another. HOW DO WE STAY ON EARTH? (A Gravity Mystery) by writer Amy Hansen and illustrator Korey Scott is a non-fictional graphic book look at what gravity is and what it does.

Designed specifically for young readers, the text is based on science, not on story narrative. A little girl asks questions about the impact of gravity on her life. I loved that on the title page, there is a tiny little picture of Earth, with the message “You are here.” Cute. This is one of the First Graphics series from Capstone Press, and the back cover of the book nicely teaches the reader how to read a graphic novel (panels, word balloons, etc.).  HOW DO WE STAY ON EARTH? is a refreshing, colorful look at an important scientific topic.

The illustrations are colorful, engaging, and very kid-friendly in their humor and perspective. Scott has a nice touch to his drawings, and the images here nicely complement the tone of the text: serious, yet fun.

This whole series of science-based non-fiction graphic novels by Capstone would be a wonderful addition for any library in the lower elementary levels. The books are reader-friendly, and viewer-friendly, and yet, the content of science is not given short thrift. There’s learning to be had in these books, although most kids will probably not realize it because of the graphic novel element. Given that most states are in the midst of a shift to the Common Core curriculum that emphasizes more non-fictional, informational text, this series is worth a close look by educators.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Format: Paperback
Pages: 24
Publisher: Capstone Press
ISBN-13: 978-1429671743

This graphic book, and the rest in the series, would be great additions to any lower elementary classroom ­­–– grades Kindergarten through two, perhaps.  If you are teaching basic science to young learners, it’s worth your time to check them out. I highly recommend HOW DO WE STAY ON EARTH? for your shelves.

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