Who Was Charles Darwin?

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 ...

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780448437644
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Series: Who Was...? Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 112,444
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.65 (h) x 0.26 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2006

    Students, meet Mr. Darwin!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

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