Whether you’re reading in advance of the solar eclipse on August 21, or stockpiling suggestions to read afterward, here are a selection of books for readers of all ages; check out the full list in our catalog.
Mask of the Sun: The Science, History, and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses by John Dvorak (adult)
Dvorak addresses both the scientific and the cultural aspects of solar eclipses, with an overview of how eclipses work plus a survey of how different peoples have interpreted them through time from the ancient Chinese, to the Mayans, up to the most recent eclipse viewable from the United States in 1978. A four page eclipse primer with illustrations is included.
American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron (adult)
Focusing on the eclipse of 1878, Baron traces the goals and efforts of three scientists during an important moment in the emergence of American science. James Craig Watson hoped to discover a new planet; Maria Mitchell led an all-female expedition to prove that women could contribute to science; and Thomas Edison wanted to test out a new invention for measuring solar heat.
Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by Tyler Nordgren (adult)
In this mix of memoir, history and science narrative, Nordgren shares his enthusiasm for solar eclipses and his travels around the world to see them, while also incorporating astronomy lessons and the varied history of human cultural response to eclipses.
When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz (grades 3-6)
Schatz provided the Library’s Summer of Learning eclipse programs, and here explains solar and lunar eclipses, why our view of constellations changes during the year, and more.
Eclipses by Nick Hunter (grades 2-4)
In this introduction to easily observable astronomical phenomena, Hunter describes solar and lunar eclipses, their effects on wildlife, how they are studied, and what people thought of eclipses in the past.
Sun and Moon by Lindsey Yankey (preschool-grade 2)
Although this is not actually about a solar eclipse, it is a lovely story of the Moon and the Sun and the Earth they look over.
~ posted by Andrea G.