From School Library Journal
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
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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 WeismanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved