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Elizabeth Rusch: Behind the Mighty Mars Rovers

A video-packed, family-friendly exploration of the Mars exploration program through the stories of Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity — and the scientists and engineers behind the missions. 

Children's book author Elizabeth Rusch will take the audience behind the scenes of these successful missions by sharing NASA video clips and stories from researching and writing her book The Mighty Mars Rovers: The incredible adventures of Spirit and Opportunity.

Elizabeth Rusch is an award-winning children's book author and magazine writer. She writes both nonfiction and fiction in the areas of science, art, sports, waves, jokes, crayons, and mud — anything that catches her fancy from her home in Portland. 

A former writer and editor for Teacher Magazine, Rusch has published more than 100 articles in numerous national magazines. Her publishing credits include articles on wave energy and intraplate earthquakes for Smithsonian and a feature on salmon scientists in Portland Monthly, among many others.

Published in Houghton Mifflin's highly acclaimed Scientists in the Field series for readers ages 10 to 100, The Mighty Mars Rovers is a Junior Library Guild selection and has garnered starred reviews from The Horn Book, School Library Journal, Booklist and Kirkus, which called the book "enthralling," "stellar," and "edge-of-your-seat reading."  

It has been named a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and the New York Public Library.

Her other nonfiction science books for young readers include Will It Blow?: Become a Volcano Detective at Mount St. Helens,  a Natural History magazine Best Book for Young Readers, a Washington Reads pick, and a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; and the nonfiction picturebook biography The Planet Hunter: The Story behind what Happened to Pluto, which the L.A. Times called "a fascinating tale, charmingly told."

Rusch teaches nonfiction writing and children's literature at the Attic Institute and speaks widely at schools and writing conferences. To learn more about her books, articles, awards, school visits, and speaking engagements, please visit her website at

Elizabeth Rusch is a member of the Ink Think Tank and blogs about nonfiction writing on the Interesting Nonfiction for Kids blog at