The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia by David Darling and Dirk Schulze-Makuch

The extravagant front cover, showcasing Saturn and a quote from one of the authors

Most of the books teens read today are fictional and often tell a story. This, however, does not mean that nonfiction books can’t be just as entrancing, if not more. The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia captures just the scope of what I am talking about. Upon opening it, you are plunged into an amazing narrative which is straight out of science fiction, yet happening right before us in real life: the search for extraterrestrial life. All around the planet, top thinkers and scientists, space agencies, technologically advanced telescopes and devices are scanning the skies, searching for the first proof of alien life. Rockets are being sent up, probes are being deployed, and hypotheses are being tested in a mind-blowing, almost unreal race. But the craziest thing is that most of us are totally unaware of it.

Fictional sci-fi is great and imaginative in its own ways, but perhaps we have to realize how amazing the world around us really is rather than fully dwelling in imaginary realms. Upon reading The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia, you will realize that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and that the real world is even more amazing than you ever realized. You will be compelled to open your eyes and look around you, and, realizing how awe-inspiring and breathtaking the world really is, you will be inspired to help save and preserve it. I have certainly become more aware and inspired upon reading The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia, and it has compelled me to make change for what we would lose destroying this planet – but that is not the only reason it is so great. Reading every entry from A to Z, I also gained information about astronomy, physics, biology, and engineering alike! The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia is a culmination of knowledge, a true encyclopedic work which is a must not only for alien enthusiasts or science buffs, but for all of us for the sole reason of getting us to open our eyes and realize what a astounding and bewildering world we live in and how we must save it before it is too late.