The "Great Minds of Science" series provides about 100 pages of biographical information, followed by several activities that children can do to further understand the discoveries made by these individuals. Black and white illustrations of the scientists, their inventions/discoveries, laboratories, peers, and publications are presented. The text is clear and easy to understand; the pages contain lots of white space. With Galileo, readers will come away with the knowledge that Galileo was a man ahead of his time, who faced censorship, but continued his work in the face of adversity, with some recognition coming 350 years after his death. The activities presented at the end of the book need larger safety warnings of "adult supervision required." Chronology, bibliography, glossary and index.
An astonishing and readable account in the Great Minds of Science series that reveals how Galileo, a brilliant and creative scientist, "among the first to practice the scientific method" in the 17th century, was tried, convicted of heresy, and imprisoned for the rest of his life for observing, then teaching and writing about scientific theories that went against the beliefs of the Catholic Church. At the Inquisition, Galileo argued that the "Holy Spirit intended to teach us in the Bible how to go to Heaven, not how the Heavens go." Hightower deftly recounts the key aspects of Galileo's life and makes plain how revolutionary his ideas and inventions were; readers will be shocked to realize that it wasn't until 1992 that Pope John Paul II officially recognized the error of the Catholic Church in its decision against Galileo. An activities section at the end of the book offers instructions for making a thermometer, doing free- fall gravity experiments, using a pendulum, and constructing a telescope.