Author: Elin Kelsey

Plot Summary: This book takes the reader on a journey to discover how humans are connected to nature. The author compares common human experiences to other experiences in the cosmos, both living and nonliving. For example, the way we learn to speak is similar to how birds learn to chirp. The electric pulses in our brain are similar to the electricity in lightning. The author also tells a narrative about how humans are connected chronologically and physically to the rest of the cosmos. For example, the elements that make up our bodies originated inside of stars. The water we drink is the same water that dinosaurs drank. This story is based on scientific research but is told in a way that may feel fictional or informal to students. It is sure to draw out a sense of wonder and connection to the natural world.

Posted In: Epistemology, Ethics

Discussion Questions:

What is nature? Are we a part of nature or are we outside of it? What is our relationship to the rest of the natural world? Are we connected or disconnected?
If we are connected, or a part of, the natural world, what implications does this have on the way we treat it? Do we have a moral responsibility to take care of the natural world?
What makes us similar to the rest of the cosmos? What makes us different? How do we know?

Supplemental Materials:
Teacher’s Guide: http://www.owlkidsbooks.com/portals/0/docs/stardust/stardust-teachers-guide.pdf

Contributed by Christina Zaccagnino