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Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities (For Kids series) Paperback – October 1, 2003


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Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities (For Kids series) + Who Was Charles Darwin?
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1060L (What's this?)
  • Series: For Kids series
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556525028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556525025
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-A thorough introduction to the life and work of this naturalist and thinker. The book begins with a description of Darwin's family life, privileged childhood, and education. His five-year voyage on the Beagle, during which he collected specimens to send back to England, is vividly described. The author places Darwin's ideas in context with those of other philosophical and scientific thinkers, tracing the work of both his predecessors and contemporaries. Lawson also explores how his subject's theories were accepted or rejected by others and discusses how the disagreement among scientists and creationists continues to the present time. The writing is consistently clear and lively. The text is supplemented by related activities, including how to develop a taxonomy, tying nautical knots, and making geological strata. Brown-and-white photographs and reproductions create a sense of the Victorian era. A list of resources for further research encourages students to delve deeper into the topic. This book covers the same material as J. Edward Evans's Charles Darwin (Lerner, 1993; o.p.), but is more comprehensive.-Ann Joslin, Erie County Public Library, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"An excellent resource." —Children's Literature


"Very readable and interesting biography."  —Science and Children



"Explores the theory of evolution in a straight-forward and scientific manner."  —Connect


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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A pure pleasure of a read!
JB
The book even covers the Scopes trial, the modern synthesis, and the issue of Social Darwinism.
M. Bower
Very informative, thorough and well-written.
Patricia Cummings

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Christina Pearl on June 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book to give your child a foundation in evolution for future science study, there are better options available. I caution any fellow parents against this book.

We can be certain the author is not a scientist, for she fails to address a very important basis for all scientific theories. In our culture the word "theory" means "idea." However, in science, a theory is not an idea at all. In scientific research, for an hypothesis to reach designation as a theory, it must undergo rigorous, multi-step tests that prove many facts to be true. All "theories" in science have been tested to prove hundreds and even thousands of supportive facts. Gravitational Theory is not an "idea." Rather, we know it to be true. Evolution has thousands of supportive facts that no scientist has been able to disprove over the course of 150 years.

The book does not explain modern genetics' entire basis in Evolution. You cannot understand genetics without accepting Darwin's theory of evolution. There are no descriptions of inheritance, mutation, or the types of selection. Without these fundamentals, a book about evolution (even geared toward kids) is inadequate.

A better choice for your kids is probably here: by Daniel Loxton (Author, Illustrator)Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be

Also, there are some amazing NOVA programs available:
NOVA - Origins
The following is actually a documentary on the Dover School Board controversy.
Read more ›
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Morris on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a pleasure to read with our 8yr old son. We haven't completed it as of yet, but it's one of our favorites. The activies are fun for the whole family to take part in. We are a homeschooling family and wanted our son to learn about evolution, and this book does it.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By JB on July 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I confess that at the age of 44 I read and was spellbound by Kristan Lawson's book. My wife a museum educator came home with this book. She said, "Look at this book I ordered; what do you think?"

I'm have a minor in biology, so was familiar with Darwin and his theories, but never read anything by him or knew in detail anything about his life. I started flipping through the book and was instantly hooked. I read it in two sittings and must say it is well written entertaining and filled in many gaps in my knowledge of Darwin, his life, and the impact he had on the world.

Some things which intrigued me:

1. He was a miserable student in college

2. He wrote many books on many subjects

3. He spent 8 years studying and writing about barnacles!

4. He wrote the first book on carnivorous plants.

5. His last and most popular book was on the lowly earthworm, which European gardeners snapped up!

6. Finally, he was a very shy and timid man who hated publicity and would not debate his ideas in public.

This is a great read for anyone who knows a little about Darwin, but does not have a complete picture of who he was. A pure pleasure of a read!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on December 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book at the Darwin Exhibit at the American Natural History Museum in New York. It really tells three stories: the life of Charles Darwin, the state of science in his lifetime and all the scientists who were formulating supporting evidence, and the theory of evolution. It treats the subject of religion respectfully, but makes clear the difference between religious faith and science theory. I plan to give it to our elementary and middle school libraries. Every library should have one.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. G. Carney on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book for children, and adults as well. This wonderfully laid out science book, succinctly addresses the "when, where, why, and how" life on this planet began. By encouraging readers to define the difference between theories and beliefs, facts and opinions, "Darwin and Evolution for Kids" addresses religiously inspired debates with fact and eloquently and tells the story of evolution.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Bower on May 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was absolutely floored by how good this book was as both a biography and also an introduction to the basic arguments, counterarguments, challenges, and triumphs of the theory of evolution. Every major objection is touched on: half a wing, the divine watchmaker, the "lack" of transitional forms, "blending" of mutations back into the wild type. The book even covers the Scopes trial, the modern synthesis, and the issue of Social Darwinism. And the story of Darwin himself is compellingly and fairly told. The theory itself is explained in straightforward terms that are easily understood, and the objections are dealt with intellgently and rationally.

Bravo, Kristan Lawson. This book is a tour de force of clear explanation and fascinating character study.
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47 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Louis A. Cox Jr. on September 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Lawson's book Darwin and Evolution for Kids is engagingly written and nicely presented. It has won some very positive reviews and NSTA-CBC endorsement. Nonetheless, it is a poor source for factually correct information. Lawson misrepresents the history of evolutionary thinking before Darwin; the role of the Bible and of the Catholic Church in Medieval culture; the validity of Malthus's theories of human population growth; the economic effects of the Industrial Revolution on worker standard of living; evolutionary explanations based on species being related; distinctions between scientific claims and non-scientific claims; and the nature of both scientific and religious inquiry. His book also suffers from many technical errors that may come back to haunt students who take a real biology course in high school or junior high. For example, Lawson misdefines "genetic drift" (p. 132) as follows:

"Genetic drift means that some traits may arise at random that are neither helpful nor harmful to an organism's chances for survival. New genes may also appear that have no effect on an organism's form."

Many biology students will probably recognize that this is a definition of "neutral mutation", not of "genetic drift" (which instead refers to the accumulation of random changes in allele frequencies in a population). Such errors and confusions in basic biology concepts and terminology undermine the book's attempts to present the scientific content of evolutionary theory.

Some examples of historical and factual errors (and possible corrections) in Chapter 1 (pages 1-11) are as follows.

Lawson: The Catholic Church reigned supreme in Europe from about 400-1400 A.D.
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