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Who Was Charles Darwin?
     

Who Was Charles Darwin?

4.7 3
by Deborah Hopkinson, Nancy Harrison (Illustrator)
 

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As a young boy, Charles Darwin hated school and was often scolded forconducting “useless” experiments. Yet his passion for the natural world was so strong that he suffered through terrible seasickness during his five-year voyage aboard The Beagle. Darwin collected new creatures from the coasts of Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands, and

Overview

As a young boy, Charles Darwin hated school and was often scolded forconducting “useless” experiments. Yet his passion for the natural world was so strong that he suffered through terrible seasickness during his five-year voyage aboard The Beagle. Darwin collected new creatures from the coasts of Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands, and expanded his groundbreaking ideas that would change people's understanding of the natural world. About 100 illustrations and a clear, exciting text will make Darwin and his theory of evolution an exciting discovery for every young reader.

Editorial Reviews

On February 12, 1809, two epoch-making men were born: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. Mention of Darwin the person become tangled so frequently in discussions of his evolutionary theory that many young people never receive a proper introduction to this fascinating man. Deborah Hopkinson's Who Was Charles Darwin? shows that even great thinkers were once little boys who enjoyed hunting bugs more than schoolwork. This "kiddie" biography can even teach adults new things about the great biologist.
Children's Literature
Charles Darwin was not good at school; he hated memorizing facts. But he loved collecting beetles and instead of a club house, he and his brother, Erasmus, made a chemistry lab in their parents' garden shed. A true scientist is always curious and must not be afraid to ask hard questions. This book does a good job of covering Darwin's life From his early years and family life through his decision to become a scientist and his ideas about evolution,. Through out the book, the author has added supplemental information about different topics: surgery in Darwin's time, fossils, the Galapagos Islands, categorizing species, the Regents Park Zoo that Darwin used to visit, a list of friends and supporters of Evolution, and information about Alfred Russel Wallace. (Wallace was the man who came up with similar theories about evolution around the same time as Darwin.) The book is heavily-illustrated but many of the illustrations look rushed and a little awkward in the faces and figures. The back matter contains a time line of Darwin's life, a time line of the world, a bibliography, and a list of Internet addresses. This title is part of Grosset and Dunlap's "Who Was . . . ?" series, which includes books about Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Annie Oakley, Ben Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. 2005, Grosset and Dunlap, Ages 7 to 10.
—Sally J. K. Davies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780448437644
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/28/2005
Series:
Penguin Who Was...Series
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
53,887
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.68(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Who Was

Charles Darwin?

Who Was

Charles Darwin?

For my wonderful and curious son, Dimitri, who loves to ask questions—just like Charles Darwin—D.H.

To my sisters, for their unwavering belief that anything is possible and always cheering me on—N.H.

Acknowledgement

Special thanks to Delbert Hutchison, Assistant Professor of Biology, Whitman College, for sharing his enthusiasm about Charles Darwin and making helpful suggestions on the manuscript. Any errors are my own.

Who Was Charles Darwin?

Charles Darwin took a five-year trip around the world on a ship called the Beagle, but he liked staying home best of all. He lived in a small English village where he raised pigeons, played with his children, and puttered in his garden.

Although he lived a quiet life, Charles Darwin started a revolution—a revolution of thought.

People have always wondered how life on Earth began. When Charles Darwin lived, most people in Europe and America believed God created the entire world in six days, just as it says in the Bible. But Charles Darwin was not most people. The Beagle voyage taught him to be a true scientist—to look closely at nature, question everything, and think in a new way about how life on Earth started. He showed how living things could naturally change, or evolve, over a long period of time.

Meet the Author

Deborah Hopkinson's most recent book is the ALA Award-Winning Apples to Oregon. Her other titles include Under the Quilt of NIght (Also illustrated by James E. Ransome) and Fannie in the Kitchen. She lives in Oregon.

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Who Was Charles Darwin? 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MontzieW 8 days ago
Who Was Charles Darwin? by Deborah Hopkinson is a fantastic book that really gets in there and tells a lot of Charles' life growing up and his long travels. It also gives much more detail to his personal life then I have read before. Over 100 pages of great info. Made for middle grades but the whole family will love this book. Borrowed this book for the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a science teacher for elementary school students (5th & 6th grade) I am always interested in finding illustrated, introductory biographies about important thinkers and their contributions to the field of science. Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution are milestones in scientific thought so adding a book about his life and ideas to my science lab library was a real need. Considering the inexpensive price of the book, 'Who Was Charles Darwin' by Deborah Hopkinson is a good, brief introduction to Darwin and evolution. It covers his life in a fairly complete manner. I like how it spends some time describing his childhood strengths, weaknesses, and interests. It points out that Darwin was not quite sure what he wanted to do with his life and that he tried and gave up on a couple of ideas before settling down as a scientist. This is a good life lesson for children who often are not sure what they want to do with themselves. It is okay to try different life paths before finding your true calling. The book points out a number of important science skills, such as questioning, observing, recording, collecting, categorizing, and communicating results. This biography gently mentions, but does not dwell on, the ongoing controversy between science and religion. I found this to be a plus. Young scientists need to know that science is not to be accepted as fact just because it is science. In fact science by its very nature needs to be challenged and tested to prove it merits the title of 'science'. Another positive about this book for young science scholars are the numerous side bars (pages actually) giving slighly deeper explanations on subjects such as 'The Galapagos Islands', 'What is a Species?', 'Fossils', and 'Alfred Russel Wallace'. My only complaints about the book are a couple of factual errors on the maps. One map incorrectly places Tahiti just southeast of New Guinea while another map has us belive that Maya temples exist in the Amazon Basin. Overall, however, a very nice, easy to read, richly illustrated introduction for young scholars to Charles Darwin, his Theory of Evolution, and science in general.