Cover image for Is there life on Mars?
Is there life on Mars?
Fradin, Dennis B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : McElderry Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
136 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Examines the theories about life on Mars, providing both historical and current information about our exploration of the Red Planet.
Reading Level:
1200 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 9.2 6.0 47235.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 8.1 10 Quiz: 20617 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB641 .F68 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QB641 .F68 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order




A reddish object in the night sky has long been the focus of our hopes and fears about life beyond Earth. That object is the Red Planet, Mars.

The mania for Martians began when several nineteenth-century astronomers reported seeing a network of lines on the Red Planet -- and the belief spread that these were canals built by giant Martians to transport water across their dry planet.

Fantastic schemes were hatched for contacting the Martians by flashing light at them with mirrors. So strong was the belief in Martians that when H. G. Wells's novel "The War of the Worlds" was presented on the radio in 1938, millions of panicked people thought that Martians had really invaded Earth!

Today's astronomers are convinced that Mars has no intelligent life. Yet in recent times new questions about the Red Planet have been raised. Did Mars have intelligent life long ago when its conditions were more Earthlike? Does the "Mars rock," which scientists presented to the world in 1996, really contain the fossils of tiny Martian organisms? Do microbes live on Mars today? The answers to these questions are of vi

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-10. This fusion of science, history, and popular culture says at least as much about life on Earth as it does about the red planet. Fradin, who admits to a longtime fascination with Mars, looks at our understanding of the planet from the Greeks to the movies and pulp fiction of the 1950s to recent discoveries made by Mars Pathfinder and by scientists at the South Pole. He closes with forward-looking chapters anticipating the arrival of "Marsonauts" in 2020 and some thoughts about what life in a permanent future colony might be like. There is perhaps more information here than casual readers will want, but the browser-friendly format makes it easy to investigate individual topics such as the formerly popular canal theory. The book's biggest audience may be sf fans, who will enjoy the detailed historic and scientific reality that underlies their favorite novels. Bibliography. --Randy Meyer

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-In this fascinating, well-researched book, readers are treated to a wealth of detailed and unbiased information about the Red Planet. The author begins with a short summary about the history of humankind's interest in Mars, previewing the content of the entire book. While defining terms such as planet and constellation, he reveals what Mars meant to ancient civilizations and discusses the origin of the planet's name, important figures in the development of astronomy, and how Mars and the idea of Martians have affected the psyche of both scientists and average citizens of Earth. From Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds to 1996 when several pieces of Mars were found on Earth, the author takes readers on a journey through all the discoveries about our neighboring planet via telescope, actual flybys, and landings. Perhaps the most interesting chapters are the last two in which Fradin imagines human "aliens" landing on and colonizing Mars in the 21st century. While the black-and-white photographs scattered throughout are very good, the 8-page insert containing 18 beautiful, full-color photos and illustrations is dazzling and adds depth to the text. The author's genuine enthusiasm for his subject is contagious. There is much captivating information here-for research projects and for dreaming about the future.-Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.