Jeanne K. Pettenati is the author of Galileo’s Journal 1609-1610, which was published by Charlesbridge in fall 2006. Jeanne has a master’s degree in Italian literature from the Catholic University of America. She has been a freelance writer since 1995. Since that time she has written feature articles for magazines and newspapers, profiles for a political almanac, and co-authored a reference book. She also reviews children’s books for Children’s Literature.

   Galileo’s Journal 1609-1610 was selected by the Washington Post Kid’sPost as its Book of the Week on December 31, 2006. Shortly after publication, McGraw Hill selected the book for its 2008 Open Court Reading Program. Galileo’s Journal has been reviewed favorably in many places, including School Library Journal, Children’s Literature, Washington Parent and Booklist. Galileo’s Journal is her first children’s book.

Selected Reviews of Jeanne’s Books

Galileo’s Journal, 1609-1610
Jeanne K. Pettenati
   Galileo is known today for his studies of the stars and the solar system, but his use of scientific methods to conduct his studies and experiments was as revolutionary as his discoveries. Jeanne Pettenati has created a journal that Galileo might have written during one brief year when he used trial and error to create a telescope–or spyglass as he called it–and then asked questions about what he saw when he looked at Jupiter with his spyglass. He was always ready to try new experiments and observations to find the answers to his questions. What are the bright stars next to Jupiter? What if the stars and Jupiter are all moving? His conclusions made his real book The Starry Messenger a bestseller of his day, but it also infuriated the religious authorities, who prevented him from traveling or teaching anymore. The book makes an important but ancient man a little more human. The illustrations are adequate with the best rendering of Galileo on the cover, where the glint in his eye draws the reader in to share the quest. Pettenati’s notes include a brief biography, as well as an explanation of precisely where she took liberties in creating Galileo’s journal. 2006, Charlesbridge, $16.95 and $6.95. Ages 6 to 12. Reviewer: Karen Leggett (Children’s Literature).

Program Details

   Since publication, Jeanne has visited elementary schools throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area to teach children about Galileo and to read her book. She has worked with students in grades one through five, adapting her Galileo presentation to meet curriculum needs for the appropriate age group. The interactive presentation includes information about Galileo, his life and times, and his scientific discoveries. In addition to elementary school classroom visits, Jeanne has also been invited to participate in school book fairs and science fairs.
Fee: Negotiable

Additional Information

To learn more about Jeanne and her publications, click here.