Recentering the Universe

The Radical Theories of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

In the sixth century B.C.E., the Greek philosopher Anaximander theorized that Earth was at the center of the cosmos. That idea became ingrained in scientific thinking and Christian religious beliefs for more than one thousand years. Defiance of church doctrine could mean death, so no one dared dispute this long-accepted idea. No one except a handful of courageous scientists.

In the 1500s and 1600s, men like Nicolaus Copernicus, Johanned Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton began to ask questions. What if Earth actually orbited the sun, instead of the other way around? What if the universe was much bigger than anyone imagined?

These scientists risked their reputations—even their lives—to challenge the very heart of Catholic dogma and scientific tradition. Yet, in less than 200 years, their radical thinking overturned theories that had lasted more than a millennium. Join these bold thinkers on the journey of discovery that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Science, Young Adult
Copyright 2014
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 88
Publication Date 2013-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 9.3
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN050110, YAN050020, YAN048000
Dewey 523.1
Graphics 1-color illustrations
Dimensions 7 x 9
Lexile 1040
ATOS Reading Level 7.8
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 159952
Accelerated Reader® Points 3.0
Features Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, and Timeline

Author: Ron Miller

Ron Miller has worked as a freelance writer and illustrator for more than 30 years. Many of his illustrations appear in magazines like Astronomy and Scientific American. He has also worked on motion pictures and created postage stamps. (One of his stamps is attached to a spacecraft headed for the planet Pluto!) He has also written short stories and novels and has even created a comic book.



“Miller’s book provides a well-written, interesting, and informative history of our understanding of the universe….Libraries looking to spruce up their nonfiction collections, especially with readable science texts, should certainly add this.” —VOYA


“The book’s illustrations are well chosen and include archival images of the universe as well as photos of sites and artifacts. A solid discussion of a pivotal time in science history.” —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“An inspiring, holistic take on milestones of scientific progress.” —Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“This is a useful, first purchase for astronomy report writers and those seeking biographical information about important scientists.” —School Library Journal