School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-These brief biographies devote six or seven short chapters to each scientist's childhood, education, personal and professional lives, and career accomplishments. Black-and-white photos are basic, serving more of an archival than explanatory function. Barnard and Jarvik trace the lives of two contemporary and very ambitious physicians, the former driven by publicity as much as by science and the latter by technological challenge more than by medicine. These two books sport a breezy, upbeat style and clear, readable texts. Roentgen is a portrait of a sad, often frustrating life, yet it opens with a disconcerting allusion to Superman and his X-ray powers. The text detailing Roentgen's brilliance and constantly thwarted educational attempts is often understatedly poignant and a little flat, with a penchant for simple declarative sentences and confusing flashes backward and forward. Also, there are occasional startling facts never elaborated upon, e.g., "[wife] Bertha's brother, Hans, sent his six-year-old daughter- to the couple in 1881 to love and to raise as their own." Why? What happened to her? Flaws notwithstanding, all three books are perceptive, informative, and will make good introductions to complicated lives.-Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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