Get Ready for the Total Solar Eclipse!

This year’s total solar eclipse on August 21 is a big deal!

It will be the first time a total solar eclipse has occurred from coast to coast in the United States since June 8, 1918—99 years ago.

My fascination with eclipses was born on February 26, 1979, when the last total solar eclipse within the contiguous United States occurred.  I was studying in my college dorm room in northwestern Iowa, which was not in the path of totality, but it was near enough that the change in the quality of the sunlight was apparent—and intriguing.

And the last time a total solar eclipse happened anywhere at all in the U.S. was on July 11, 1991—but you had to travel to Hawaii or to the tip of Baja California to see it.

The path of this year’s eclipse stretches from northern Oregon to South Carolina. You’ll find me somewhere north of Kansas City, Missouri, shortly after 1:00! I’m hoping for clear skies!

The books below are great for readers who are interested in the sky and for astronomy units.  You can also follow these links to eclipse sites for more information and maps. And if you’re going, don’t forget to order your safety glasses!

Great American Eclipse

NASA Eclipse web site

P.S.  And for all types of budding astronomers, check out the books on my astronomy post on MackinVIA Community.



Eclipses (Amazing Sights of the Sky) by Martha E.H. Rustad. 9781515767534. July 2017. Gr PK-2.

Eclipses (Night Sky : And Other Amazing Sights in Space) by Nick Hunter. 9781432975159. 2013. Gr 1-3.

The Sun and the Moon (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science) by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano (ill. by Taia Morley). 9780062338044. 2016. Gr K-2.




Exploring Eclipses (Discover the Night Sky) by Jill Sherman. 9781515787365. July 2017. Gr 2-5.

Journey through Eclipses (Spotlight on Space Science) by Carolyn L. Hill. 9781499404302. 2015. Gr 4-6.

Solar and Lunar Eclipses (Explore Outer Space) by Ruth Owen. 9781448880775. 2013. Gr 3-6.

What Is an Eclipse? (Space Mysteries) by Michael Portman. 9781433992339. 2014. Gr 2-5.




Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass. 9780316002561. 2008. Gr 4-7 (fiction).

The Science Behind Wonders of the Sun : Sun Dogs, Lunar Eclipses, and Green Flash (Science Behind Natural Phenomena) by Suzanne Garbe. 9781515707783. 2017. Gr 4-8.




American Eclipse : A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron. 9781631490163. 2017. Gr 11-Adult.

Earth, Sun, and Moon : Cyclic Patterns of Lunar Phases, Eclipses, and the Seasons (Space Systems) by Derek Miller. 9781502622914. 2017. Gr 8-12.

Sun Moon Earth : The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by Tyler Nordgren. 9780465060924. 2016. Gr 10-Adult.

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