Written By: Margaret Weitecamp
In February, Charis learned about the solar system. As we've been going over the different planets, I remembered the Pluto is no longer considered a planet (and heard various explanations from people-most of whom were slightly sarcastic or indignant. Because of their bias, I was never satisfied with there answers). Pluto's Secret helped me better understand the uncertainty as to why Pluto is no longer a planet.
Charis memorized the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. In order to help her memorize the planets better, I told my daughter, "When mama was a little girl, she learned that Pluto was a planet! But is Pluto a planet? No, here's why..." Then we read Pluto's Secret.
Pluto's Secret is from the viewpoint of Pluto (as if it were a real person). We learn who: discovered Pluto and named Pluto. We also learned why it is no longer classified as a planet. I laughed when the author wrote that scientists realized they never came up with a consensual definition of a planet. (I thought, "That's crazy?!?!?!" So what makes a planet? 1. It has to be round. (Check. Pluto's okay.) 2. It has orbit around the sun. (Check. Pluto's okay there too.) 3. It has to be alone in orbit around the sun. (That's why Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Pluto has friends in the Kuiper belt.)