Cover image for Collision course! : cosmic impacts and life on earth
Collision course! : cosmic impacts and life on earth
Bortz, Fred, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
72 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
NC 1170 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.3 2.0 48728.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB377 .B67 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
QB377 .B67 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Somewhere in the far reaches of the Solar System are comets or asteroids on collision course with our planet. These objects carry with them the potential to destroy civilization -- or even our species. This book tells the story of cosmic impacts in the solar system, and discusses our options in preventing such a fate.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. Bortz, the author of Catastrophe: Great Engineering Failure--and Success (1995) and Martian Fossils of Earth?: The Story of Meteorite ALH 84001 (1997), now explores the dramatic events that ensue when comets and asteroids collide with planets. Beginning with the planetary collision that gave the earth its size, tilt, seasons, and tides, Bortz discusses evidence for the Cretaceous catastrophe (the probable asteroid impact 65 million years ago), the Tunguska event of 1908 in Siberia, and the crash of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter in 1994. The closing chapters consider "near Earth objects," their detection, and how they might be prevented from colliding with the home planet. Every page of this informative book reflects Bortz's enthusiasm for the stories he relates, the scientists he interviewed, and the process of science. The high interest topic of cosmic collisions benefits from the energy and clarity of the writing. Although the cover illustration of a dinosaur watching an asteroid streak toward Earth may play to readers intrigued by disaster, the text and illustrations are anything but alarmist. Rather, they offer solid information and informed speculation on a topic of practical as well as theoretical concern. Paintings, photographs, and computer-enhanced images, many in color, illustrate the text. Back matter includes an author's note as well as lists of recommended books and Internet resources. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Bortz takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the origins of the universe, the impact of comets and asteroids on the history of the Earth and the Moon, what we have learned from current research about these space rocks, and what we might expect in the future. The full-color and black-and-white illustrations and photographs are sharp, clear, and dramatic. The layout creates interest while the crisp text makes for easy reading. The author brings to light a great deal of information about comets and asteroids and the people who study them and does so in an easy-to-understand and interesting style. The colorful cover is sure to attract students' attention, and even reluctant readers will be hooked after reading the first few pages. This title has plenty of science for basic research and may spark an interest in the study of Earth and its preservation. The only flaw is the lack of a clear definition of comets and asteroids. Otherwise, this title should have a deep impact on budding sky watchers.-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.