Albert Einstein. His name has become a synonym for genius. His wild case of bedhead and playful sense of humor made him a media superstar?the first, maybe only, scientist-celebrity. He wasn't much for lab work; in fact he had a tendency to blow up experiments. What he liked to do was think, not in words but in ?thought pictures.? What was the result of all his thinking? Nothing less than the overturning of Newtonian physics. Once again, Kathleen Krull delivers a witty and astute look at one of the true ?Giants of...
Albert Einstein. His name has become a synonym for genius. His wild case of bedhead and playful sense of humor made him a media superstar?the first, maybe only, scientist-celebrity. He wasn't much for lab work; in fact he had a tendency to blow up experiments. What he liked to do was think, not in words but in ?thought pictures.? What was the result of all his thinking? Nothing less than the overturning of Newtonian physics. Once again, Kathleen Krull delivers a witty and astute look at one of the true ?Giants of Science? and the turbulent times in which he lived.
[An] engrossing and remarkably accessible biography.
For independent readers and report writers, this is a very appealing addition to a long bookshelf.
- Greg M. Romaneck
Albert Einstein once wrote, "I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious." In reality, Einstein had amazing talents in the field of physics and used them to become one of the most renowned scientists in recorded history. In this volume in the "Giants of Science" series youngsters are introduced to the life and times of Einstein. In telling this story Kathleen Krull minces no words in describing not only Einstein's accomplishments but also his personality shortcomings. On the one hand, Einstein was an incomparable thinker who crafted complex visualizations leading to groundbreaking theories linked to time, space, and the very nature of the universe. Conversely, Einstein was also a terrible father, wayward husband, and person who struggled in virtually all social interactions. By adopting a realistic perspective on Einstein, Kathleen Krull paints him as a complex human being and not some cardboard cutout hero. This realistic rendition of Einstein's life is complimented by the clever drawings of Boris Kulikov. Taken as a whole this biography will be a thought provoking addition to the library of any young scientist. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Krull once again demonstrates her ability to balance a description of the personality of a genius with the significance of his contribution to science. In 13 chapters, she addresses the myths of Einstein as a poorly performing student who "bugged his teachers" and an unlikely genius known for his "bedhead." The author employs colloquial terms and concrete examples to make her work both engaging and accessible to young audiences. While delivering Einstein's theories is a task few biographers could accomplish, Krull's use of imagery, like Einstein's own thought pictures, will give readers a reasonable idea of his theorems. Einstein is depicted as a rebel student, absentminded scientist, and distracted parent who made mistakes and had his regrets, but who also retained his curiosity and continued to work on answering the questions he imagined. The final chapter explains why he was important, and how modern experiments continue to prove his theories. Kulikov's pen-and-ink illustrations offer lighthearted interpretations of the text. A useful list of quality resources indicates which titles are appropriate for young readers.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
As she did for Giants of Science Leonardo, Newton, Freud and Curie before him, Krull delivers a splendidly humane biography of that gold standard of brilliance, Albert Einstein. The narrative ably contextualizes his youth against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving technological society and within a secular Jewish family that valued education, showing that his single-minded pursuit of raw thought developed naturally. Drawing extensively on Einstein's writings, she presents a fully rounded portrait of a man whose genius combined with a bad temper and arrogance, to the detriment of his own professional advancement, not to mention his relationships with women and his children. Using concrete examples, the author brings such mind-bending notions as his General Theory of Relativity within the grasp of child readers. In following his career, she also makes readers aware of the intimate connections between politics-both academic and international-and science. Her vocabulary is, as always, both playful and collegial: "His ideas made your head spin, in a down-the-rabbit-hole, Alice in Wonderland sort of way." Another standout in a uniformly stellar series; here's hoping Einstein isn't the last Giant. (Biography. 10-14)