Charles Darwin

( 2 )

Overview

All his life, Charles Darwin hated controversy. Yet he takes his place among the Giants of Science for what remains an immensely controversial subject: the theory of evolution. Darwin began piecing together his explanation for how all living things change or adapt during his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle. But it took him twenty years to go public, for fear of the backlash his theory would cause. Once again, Kathleen Krull delivers a witty and astute picture of one of history's ...

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Charles Darwin

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Overview

All his life, Charles Darwin hated controversy. Yet he takes his place among the Giants of Science for what remains an immensely controversial subject: the theory of evolution. Darwin began piecing together his explanation for how all living things change or adapt during his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle. But it took him twenty years to go public, for fear of the backlash his theory would cause. Once again, Kathleen Krull delivers a witty and astute picture of one of history's greatest scientists.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Lockett
Part of the "Giants of Science Series," this biography reveals a Charles Darwin whose inherent "niceness" both assisted him and inhibited him as a scientist, delaying the publication of his Origin of the Species for years, as he feared the uproar it might cause. In this presentation, Darwin is a kind, curious misfit. Born to privilege but a non-conformist, the brilliant scientist struggles until he finds his calling. A fast-paced biography of Darwin and the society that at once shaped and thwarted him, this book engages its audience of ten-and-up. Kulikov's warm and witty illustrations dovetail perfectly with the narrative. One unforgettable image is the youthful Darwin astride a Galapagos turtle, legs and arms flailing like the most quirky of jockeys. The biography is loosely chronological, tracing Darwin's personal struggles as he finds his educational and professional path and uncovering Darwin's personal evolution after the voyage on the Beagle, as he adapts in his roles as a scientist, husband, and father. The engaging narrative suffers a bit from haphazard transitions as it repeatedly arcs out into social context and the larger historical milieu and then returns to Darwin's personal circumstances. Additionally, some colloquialisms are employed in an attempt to engage young readers but instead distract. Asides such as "[i]t was probably the low point in Charles Darwin's life," referring to an argument between Darwin and his father, detract from the narrative. In a later chapter, it is revealed that Darwin lost his ten-year-old daughter Annie to tuberculosis The author then posits: "The sadness of her early death haunted him for the rest of his days." The text would be better without such speculative assertions, which would by inference also contradict one another. Otherwise, this book is a noteworthy addition to an acclaimed series and provides an engaging introduction to the life of its subject. Reviewer: Denise Lockett
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Krull does a fabulous job of making Darwin real, from boyhood to adulthood. The information is obviously well researched and it is presented in a reader-friendly manner. In addition, Kulikov's black-and-white illustrations give depth and character to the story. Darwin's ideas are presented as well as those of his opponents and fellow scientists. This is a fine addition to the series and a viable selection for anyone who didn't stock up on books on the scientist during his bicentennial year.—Carol Hirsche, Provo City Library, UT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670063352
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/14/2010
  • Series: Giants of Science Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 593,521
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Krull, the noted social historian, lives in San Diego, California.

Boris Kulikov, the illustrator of this series, lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Fantastic

    Nothing else to say

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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