Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction

Launch a Rocket into Space – boost your math skills!

launch a rocket into spaceLaunch a Rocket Into Space (You Do the Math Series), by Hilary Koll & Steve Mills, (June 2015, QED Publishing), $17.95, ISBN: 9781609927295

Recommended for ages 8-12

Called “Math That’s Out of this World!”, this latest entry into QED’s You Do the Math series gets kids acting like rocket scientists – for real! The book takes kids all the way through the steps involved in a rocket launch – from astronaut selection to the return from space – and the math needed to complete each step. No nuclear physics here, just solid math skills designed to strengthen every student’s math familiarity. Astronaut Selection works on interpreting tables; Getting Ready for Launch reinforces comparing weights; Going Into Space looks at temperature and negative numbers.

All operations are attached to a particular area of mathematics, presents a scenario, asks questions (answers are included in the back of the book), and challenges readers to apply similar skills to their own lives. For instance, when looking at astronaut selection, kids are asked to compare their own heights against those of their friends; comparing weights in space asks kids to figure out their own weights when in orbit. The book also includes a timeline of key events in the history of rocket ships, a glossary, and an index.

This book isn’t meant to teach your kids math, but it’s a helpful book to have on hand to help them reinforce concepts they’re learning in school, and showing them the useful side of mathematics; because, you know every generation asks, “But what will I need to know this stuff for?” Well, now you know. So put on an episode of Big Bang Theory, pull out this book, and get your rocket scientist ready for MIT. (Psst… Math teachers… good ideas for extra credit abound!)


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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