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Isaac Newton (Giants of Science) Paperback – October 16, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Giants of Science
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142408204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142408209
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5-7–Krull fulfills the promise of the outstanding previous volume in this series, Leonardo da Vinci (Viking, 2005) with this follow-up. Writing in a style aptly described in the blurb as juicily anecdotal (a tone reflected in Kulikovs witty illustrations), she offers a multifaceted portrait of a genius who was both brilliant and several slices short of a loaf, capable of revolutionary insights into science but also rude, jealous, and secretive. Along with presenting lucid, animated descriptions of Newtons major achievements, from calculus and the laws of motion to the reflecting telescope (a cool new toy that earned him instant election to the Royal Society), the author carefully takes on such speculative topics as his religious beliefs, his homosexuality, and the possibility that his emotional imbalance was a result of poisoning caused by his obsessive alchemical experiments. Though Krull gives Newton more credit than he probably deserves for validating the scientific method, in general her assessment of his stellar position in the history of science is right on target.–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Krull's second offering in the Giants of Science series (Leonardo da Vinci, 2005) profiles Sir Isaac Newton, the secretive, obsessive, and brilliant English scientist who invented calculus, built the first reflecting telescope, developed the modern scientific method, and discerned many of our laws of physics and optics. Engaging in limited speculation about Newton's personality (Did he have Asperger's syndrome or suffer from mercury poisoning?), Krull recounts Newton's lonely childhood, his penchant for quiet reflection, and the difficulties that led to his feuding with other scientists. The lively, conversational style will appeal to readers; Newton comes off as disagreeable and difficult, but never boring. Krull also does a credible job explaining several of Newton's complex theories^B. She offers no documentation, but she appends a list of books and Web sites for those who want more facts. Kulikov's humorous pen-and-ink drawings complement the lighthearted text of this fascinating introduction, which will appeal to both would-be scientists and children in need of a quick-to-read biography. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

KATHLEEN KRULL is well known for her innovative, award-winning nonfiction for young readers, which includes the successful Lives of... series. Kathleen Krull lives in San Diego, CA. Visit her at www.kathleenkrull.com AND http://facebook.com/kathleen.krull

Customer Reviews

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Easy to read, clear, concise account of the life of Isaac Newton and the times in which he lived.
Malcolm Gordon Smith
While worthwhile reading as well, this short book clearly and interestingly covered many of the high points found in those more detailed books.
KL
The "Giants of Science" series has a way of making anyone and everyone it touches look interesting.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robin B. on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 9-year-old, and I read it, too.

Sir Isaac Newton is an interesting topic. I would certainly encourage children to find out more about him.

However, this book has many sentence fragments and other grammatical errors. I found the poor writing to be very distracting from the content of the book.

Also, the book contains a discussion of whether or not he is homosexual. I really think that discussions of a person's sex life should be left out of biographies for elementary and middle school students.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I like science in the way that I like foreign cars. It's not something I'd usually focus my brain on, but I'm willing to give it some thought should the need arise. As a child, however, my heroes were not scientists. Scientists, I would have told you, are dull as dishwater human beings who never had a poetic or romantic thought in their lives. They were, for me, the epitome of dull dry brilliance. Trust Kathleen Krull then to write about a fellow who manages to prove my personal stereotypes both right and wrong at the same time. You might be able to make a case for Isaac Newton having never had a romantic thought in his life. But dull? Honey, this guy was so wham-bang whizzing crazy that his mere existence itself makes for a fabulous bio. The "Giants of Science" series has a way of making anyone and everyone it touches look interesting. But with Mr. Newton, it sure doesn't seem like they needed much help.

He was born on Christmas Day in 1642 in rural England. An unwanted child, Isaac was shuttled amongst various relatives and essentially ignored by his mother and stepfather. In fact, his stepfather was so against Isaac's mere existence that the marriage contract was careful to state that the boy was not allowed even allowed in the man's home. The boy grew up solitary and unendingly curious. He worked for an apothecary at one point, attended Cambridge, and was incredibly religious. He was also, "secretive, vindictive, withdrawn, obsessive, and, oh, yes, brilliant". With a bit of historical panache, Krull brings Newton's life into powerful focus.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Kennedy on December 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is an easy to read biography of Newton, in a conversational style that appeals. But I was quite turned off by the gossipy content of Chapter Nine (Newton versus Newton). First, it begins a discussion about Newton having emotional/psychological issues with the flippant and insensitive phrase "several slices short of a loaf".
Then it goes on to speculate that Newton may have been gay, since he had at least two very close male friends, one of whom he lived with for 20 years. It grants that there is no concrete evidence, but whispers about it anyhow.
I gave this book to Goodwill and went looking for something more factual and less vacuous.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Galileo's Gang on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am homeschooling my 4th and 6th graders and we are studying the history of science through biographies of scientists. I chose this book after reading the first 3 chapters. I thought it would be a great addition to our studies. Unfortunately, chapter nine consists of pure postulation on Newton's sexuality. Why this is included in a biography written for middle school children is beyond me. It absolutely ruined the book for me as I had to discuss a topic that had nothing to do with Newton's accomplishments nor his role as one of the greatest scientists in the history of science. When I teach this subject again, I will try the Landmark biography on Newton. I highly recommend that you avoid this book at all costs.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Slim Pickens on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
A book which is listed as a biography for readers as young as age ten should not contain an irrelevant, non-factual discussion on the sexual orientation, whatever it may be, of the subject. The fact that such a discussion was included anyway suggests an attempt by the author to evangelize unsuspecting young readers on an issue of personal import. This is a violation by the author and publisher of the trust parents have in the quality and age-appropriate literature to be published under their banner.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy to read, clear, concise account of the life of Isaac Newton and the times in which he lived. What a fascinating man he was.
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By KL on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
I read this book before reading it with my 4th-grader. Great level of detail. The author makes Isaac Newton come alive, while still conveying a sense of his scientific/mathematical achievements. Actually, I was so intrigued after reading this that I also read a couple of the adult books from the bibliography. While worthwhile reading as well, this short book clearly and interestingly covered many of the high points found in those more detailed books. Minor flaws: in making the subject read as human, at times, felt there was a little too much of the human in there, that I would prefer to skip with my fourth grader. Will be checking out other books from this series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have no idea what possessed me to read this book. A review, perhaps. I'm not that interested in biographies to begin with, so I do wonder why I picked this up. However, I am VERY glad I did. The story of Newton's life was highly interesting, and I liked the somewhat modern irreverence sprinkled throughout the book: and I think kids will "get" and appreciate the modern tone in the midst of information about a giant of science who lived 400 years ago. Definitely worth reading!
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