Where Are the Aliens?: The Search for Life Beyond Earth

by Stacy McAnulty (Author) Nicole Miles (Illustrator)

Where Are the Aliens?: The Search for Life Beyond Earth
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
A fun-filled, highly illustrated, science-based exploration into one of the universe’s greatest mysteries—does life exist beyond Earth?—from bestselling and award-winning author Stacy McAnulty.
Spoiler: Scientists haven’t discovered life beyond Earth, not even a single teeny-tiny organism. But there’s a whole lot of outer space, and humans have searched only a fraction of a fraction of it. So do you believe in the possibility of life out there? Or do you think Earth is perfectly unique in its ability to grow organisms?

Where Are the Aliens? takes readers on a journey of theories and discoveries, from the big bang and primordial soup, to how the ancient Greeks considered the cosmos, to the technology used today to listen and (possibly!) communicate with far-off exoplanets. Packed with playful illustrations and fascinating factoids, this is the perfect book for anyone who has ever looked up and asked, "What's out there?"
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Kirkus Reviews

Terrific science for skeptics and hopeful sky watchers.

Publishers Weekly

Employing abundant research and humorous b&w sketches, McAnulty and Miles (Save the People) discuss the steps that scientists have taken to prove--or disprove--the possibility of life beyond Earth in this curiosity-stoking work. The author begins with an explanation of the Fermi paradox, or the "where is everyone?" quandary named after Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954), which explores the idea that if technologically advanced beings existed beyond Earth, "we would have noticed them by now. They're not here, so they must not exist." Subsequent chapters offer contextualizing information about Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei's (1564-1642) early telescopes, Sputnik and Apollo launches, listening devices seeking alien transmissions, rumored UFO sightings and abductions, and insights into projected space missions as far out as 2040. Lighthearted jokes pepper conversational prose: "Now you may be asking, 'What is a paradox?' (Not to be confused with a 'pair of docs, ' which is two physicians)." By highlighting sometimes contradictory hypotheses prevalent in the scientific community, McAnulty concludes that there is no concrete answer regarding the existence of alien life-forms, excitedly reminding readers that "the hunt has just begun" in this fascinating read. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Serious science and great gags, with a bit of hope thrown in."

Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb and Fallout
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 05, 2023
BISAC categories
JNF051190 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | History of Science
JNF051010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Technology | Aeronautics, Astronautics & Space Science
JNF051170 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Discoveries
JNF052030 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Social Science | Folklore & Mythology
Library of Congress categories
Life on other planets

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