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Tycho Brahe: Pioneer of Astronomy
Tycho Brahe: Pioneer of Astronomy
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Reviewed Titles Accelerated Reader

Tycho Brahe: Pioneer of Astronomy

Tycho Brahe was an eccentric Danish astronomer in the 1500s. Growing up in the wealthy home of his uncle, he was provided with the freedom to pursue his ambitions in life. While attending college, Tycho viewed a solar eclipse, which scholars had predicted would happen. He was fascinated that science could predict such phenomenal events, and he devoted much of his time to studying the heavens. Using modern instruments and techniques to measure the positions of the stars and the movements of the planets, Brahe revolutionized the way astronomers viewed the night sky.

Reading LevelGrades 6-7
Interest LevelGrades 5-9
Lexile Level1050L
ATOS Level8
AR Points2
AR Quiz #116540
PublisherCompass Point Books
Page Dimensions6" x 9"
Page Count112
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $35.32 School/Library Price
Sets that include this title:


Book Links - Jeanette Larson, independent children's literature consultant and an adjunct pro

"This sixteenth-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was a colorful eccentric, but his interest in the stars led to the creation of a more accurate sky map than had previously existed, an achievement that laid the foundation for Newton’s and Kepler’s work. Other books in the award-winning Signature Lives series include Nicolaus Copernicus: Father of Modern Astronomy by Barbara A. Somervil and Galileo: Astronomer and Physicist by Robin S. Doak (both 2005)." - Book Links

March 1, 2009

School Library Journal

"Clear explanations of scientific thought and fact are presented in conversational tones and illuminated by easily grasped examples, making the subject matter less daunting. Sidebars, maps, and well-captioned illustrations further detail the scientists' personal lives, education, and societies in which they lived. Excerpts from the men's writings are liberally scattered throughout. A lengthy annotated time line illustrating major events in the subjects' lives , contrasted against historical and cultural milestones, enhances each volume, and a "Life at a Glance" section provides key biographical information." - School Library Journal

January 1, 2008

NSTA Recommends - Teri Cosentino

"Some would say the greatest revolutions are not fought on the battlefield, but in the laboratory. The Signature Lives series illustrates the revolutions inspired by Tycho Brahe, Robert Hooke, Gerardus Mercator, and Sir Isaac Newton. In 150 years of the "Scientific Revolution," beginning in 1550 and ending around 1700, these four men generated ideas and used common sense as well as meticulous data collection to prove and publish new theories. These new theories in turn sparked more ideas and led to laws that still stand today. These biographies illustrate four very different yet equally fascinating ways of thinking scientifically. Each beautifully designed book transports readers to another time. Using period paintings and modern photographs, the brilliantly designed pages provide personal accounts of challenges and triumphs. The layouts are outstanding, with sidebars that further define content, timelines comparing events of the scientists' lives to historical events, "facts at a glance," and additional resources including the Facthound website to enhance learning. Although some material is more appropriate for middle school students, certain sections of the books can be read to or by students in upper elementary grades. What were the similarities and differences among the scientists’ lives? Of the four scientists, Mercator was poor, Newton’s family had money but he was given a meager allowance while in college, Brahe was very wealthy, and Hooke’s parents were middle class. All left home at a young age. Tragedies abound in each biography. Mercator was sent to prison for heresy, Brahe lost his nose in a sword duel, Hooke was a sickly child, and Newton moved to escape hardships. Yet young readers will share the joys that each scientist discovered as they investigated. Hooke took a job with Robert Boyle and had an extensive group of friends yet was equally gifted at clock building, architecture, and drawing. Newton had a mathematical mind that rivaled his curiosity. Mercator treasured faith, family, and the science of mapmaking. And Brahe pursued economic excellence, family, scientific observations, and political savvy. As readers compare lives that seem so different on the surface, they will undoubtably ask: "How did each of these men find intellectual opportunity?" Although all had different talents, their love of learning and urge for discovery surpassed even their desire to eat. Each was a true genius, an avid scientist, and a lifelong learner. Can we as teachers pass along some of those traits to our students? Can we show them the way? Based on what I read from the biographies of Mercator, Brahe, Newton, and Hooke, there is a path and it is found by reading and discovering the greatness in the lives of scientists who lived long ago. While each of these books is worth independent reading by students, there is even greater value in a classroom exploration that contrasts and compares them so that students can find their own genius in the discovery. 2008 Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12" - NSTA Recommends

November 1, 2007



"Seasoned author Nardo brings his lively, informative approach to this standout biography of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, or Tycho, as he was most commonly known. From a defining moment, in which Tycho first glimpsed a supernova, Nardo tracks back to the pioneering scientist’s advantaged childhood and then forward through his astonishing career. Nardo gracefully inserts clear definitions of technical terms, such as parallax, into the biography, and corresponding time lines connect world events with Tycho’s breakthrough discoveries and personal milestones. Throughout, Nardo communicates the essence of scientific inquiry: that basic, sincere observation of natural occurrences inspires curiosity, passionate questioning, and further research. The series’ award-winning design is once again reflected in the successful mix of archival images, fact boxes, and time lines, laid out on thick pages. Source notes and additional-reading suggestions conclude this entry in the Scientific Revolution subset of the Signature Lives series." - Booklist

December 1, 2007

Science & Children

"This fascinating biography reveals the life of Tycho Brahe, a privileged, eccentric astronomer whose interest in the newfound science of astronomy led him to create a more accurate map of the sky. Beautiful paintings by masters, timelines, charts, and photographs enrich and add historical perspective to this remarkable chronicle." - Science & Children

March 1, 2008

Don Nardo

Don Nardo

Noted historian and award-winning author Don Nardo has written many books for young people about American history. Nardo lives with his wife, Christine, in Massachusetts.

Go to the Author’s Page →