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2019 Finalist: Middle Grades Science Book

Impact! Asteroids and the Science of Saving the World, by Elizabeth Rusch. (Photographs by Karin Anderson.) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.

Asteroids bombard our atmosphere all the time. Some are harmless, burning up completely in a flash of light, or breaking into bits of rock that scatter on the earth. But others explode in the sky with a great sonic boom, smashing windows and throwing people to the ground. Worst of all, some asteroids strike our planet head-on, blasting out massive craters and destroying everything nearby on impact. Join Elizabeth Rusch and Karin Anderson in the field for a meteorite hunt, to the edge of an impact crater to survey past damage, into a geology lab to examine space rocks, and to an observatory where telescopes probe the vastness of space, searching for asteroids on a collision course with Earth. It’s a scientific journey that just might save our planet.