The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey

The Universe in You cover
The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey by Jason Chin

By Jason Chin
A Neal Porter Book / Holiday House, 2022
40 Pages

Ages 8-11

In a companion to Your Place in the Universe, which explores objects vast in size, Chin here sheds a light on the opposite end of the spectrum: the microscopic building blocks of human bodies. The narrative begins with a Calliope hummingbird, the smallest bird in the United States, as it alights on the finger of a brown child who uses a wheelchair. As diminutive as the bird is, it is not as small as the smallest butterfly, which in turn is not as small as the smallest bee. Smaller still are humans’ finest hairs, called vellus hairs. And smaller yet are skin cells and their nuclei, which are comprised of even smaller particles, each of which have their own microscopic parts. The size of the objects in the narrative shrinks until it reaches elementary particles, or quarks and gluons, which are so small humans are unable to measure or divide them. Tiny though they may be, however, elementary particles are the building blocks of everything in the universe, including “the body of a unique human being … a singular person who can think and feel and discover.” On each page, detailed, labeled illustrations provide additional information about the mind-boggling particles mentioned in the primary narrative. ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center