Title: The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Fun Fact: Every 228 years, Pluto is closer to the sun the Neptune is.
Review Summary: Fun and approachable, but not much substance.
The Pluto Files chronicles the history of Pluto, from its’ discovery in 1930 to the more recent debate about its’ classification as a planet. Tyson takes a mostly unbiased approach to this debate, with lots of quotes from other scientists giving an overview of the issue. The book also includes lots funny cartoons about Pluto, which were by far my favorite part of the book!
In addition to the pictures and the cartoons, the book is written in a very accessible away. Even late elementary school students could probably read it, a target demographic that makes sense given the many elementary school students outraged about Pluto’s demotion. This was by far the easiest to read of all my non-fiction reads so far.
On the down side, there wasn’t much depth to this book. I like to read micro-histories for the fun people stories involved in the history of even the most mundane of objects. This book didn’t include many of those personal stories. Instead, the book covered the same few arguments for and against planet-hood over and over again using enough quotes that the writing felt a little choppy. At the end of the day, this wasn’t a bad book, but I would only recommend it to a younger reader or to someone looking for a very brief overview of Pluto’s history.