Book review: Journey To the Centre of the Earth

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Author:Jules Verne
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 8 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 12 and up
Year of publication:1864

A perfect novel for science geeks of all ages.

Brilliant geologist and his apprentice/nephew discover, de-crypt, and then, with their imperturbable guide Hans, follow the directions in a Renaissance manuscript that describes how they can travel to the center of the Earth.

My 12 year old warns that the "old-fashioned" language might be off-putting to some, but that the story is so involving that it pulls you along. For young readers, you might want to start by reading the story aloud, or listening to the audio book.

Although the scientific theory (that the Earth's core is not hot) "proven" by the scientists/adventurers in the story has turned out to not be true, science lovers will appreciate the intellectual discussions, the process by which the predictions of the professor and his less sophisticated apprentice are laid out and then "tested" experientially, and the warning against blowing up the Earthly space in which one stands. (See also the Pottery Barn Rule, which could be re-stated as, "Plan carefully before you blow something up.")

-- Emily

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