Isaac Newton was not only briiliant, but secretive, vindictive and obsessive. Here is a portrait of the man, contradictions and all, than places him against the backdrop of seventeenth-century England, a time of plague, the Great Fire of London, and two revolutions.
What I learned from this book was the how and why behind these events, but also a great deal more about how he has shaped science as we now understand it on a fundamental level.
The reason I was particularly taken with Krull's book is that it is accessible. Students will enjoy reading it, despite that it is a book about an old dead scientist. Her tone is sarcastic, comic, and light, which makes the book engaging to read the entire was through. She begins chronologically through the time he was 25, then she switches to different threads of his life and work, spending a chapter on each. This was the only thing that caused me some confusion because we would jump forward then backwards in time, but it was a sensible organization style since it went thematically.
If You Liked This, Try: Leonardo Da Vinci: Giants of Science #1 by Kathleen Krull, Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty, Sigmund Freud: Giants of Science #3 by Kathleen Krull, Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman, Up Before Daybreak: Cotton And People In America by Deborah Hopkinson.
I thought this book was okay. It did mention a lot of good information in regards to science, but it didn't really catch my interest in the long run.
I could relate this to the classroom by finding a science experiment that class could partake in that would be safe for them to handle.
Newton's childhood offers interest and meaning to today's child - he was made fun of, resented by other boys his age, and never really fit in with his peers, and his story is relevant to the increasing attention to bullying in today's schools.
The author's dialogue is casual and would be very easy to read for children ages 10-12, and is engaging because in featuring each accomplishment and major event in Newton's life, the author offers quotes and sources revealing his experience and frustrations with his work, making Newton a believable and multidimensional character.
This is an 128 page chapter book. It is mostly correct, uses original quotations, and emphasizes Newton's foibles and quarrels with fellow scientists. Generally speaking, the chronology is well done, but the science not as careful.