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Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities (For Kids series) Paperback – July 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—An opening time line commences with the 1642 marriage of Newton's parents and closes with his death in 1727, and a general introduction describes the man and the times in which he lived. The text touches on Newton's childhood in Woolsthorpe, his studies at Cambridge, which led to his three laws of motion, and his time as master of the Royal Mint and president of the Royal Society. The activities elucidate, for example, concepts in mathematics ("What Are the Odds?") and physics ("Create Optical Illusions"), and reveal more historical details. For example, in a section on the 17th-century plague, readers are provided with instructions on how to make a mask like those worn by doctors of the time. The activities will generally not be suitable for science fairs, but are likely to engage readers. Lengthy sidebars provide additional information about pertinent subjects ("Comets," "Churches, Kings, and Freedom of Speech") as well as individuals and events that influenced Newton's work. The writing is clear and detailed, but is best suited for motivated readers. Black-and-white illustrations on every spread consist primarily of reproductions of art and of scientific diagrams. Some of the further-reading suggestions, including two tiles by Newton, are for adults. This will be a handy supplement to a physics curriculum and would be a useful selection for school and public libraries.—Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Hollihan introduces readers to the scientific brilliance, as well as the social isolation, of this giant figure, blending a readable narrative with an attractive format that incorporates maps, diagrams, historical photographs, and physics activities."  —Booklist



"Written for children, this book is also a great resource for teachers and parents."  —Connect



"Sanitized, sculpted, and politically correct stories of human luminaries are typically fed to schoolchildren. Author Kerrie Logan Hollihan, however, offers middle-grade readers a refreshing and comprehensive look at the man touted as the greatest scientist who ever lived."  —BookLoons

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Series: For Kids series
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527784
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Author Biography

Kerrie Logan Hollihan writes award-winning nonfiction for young people. Her books have been honored by Smithsonian magazine, the National Science Teachers Association, the Chicago Public Library, and the Junior Library Guild. She holds degrees in history from Allegheny College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

Hollihan decided to channel her "inner sixth grade girl who read Compton's encyclopedia for fun" and started writing for kids in 2005. From 38,000 word biography/activity books about Isaac Newton, Theodore Roosevelt, and Queen Elizabeth I, Hollihan also enjoyed the challenge of "writing short" for an early reader series on Latin American celebrations.

"Kids don't get enough credit for being able to understand history as it actually happened. As I write, I try to explain the 'whys' of situations as well as the 'whats.' History is filled with great yet fully human men and women with faults and foibles. When I tell the stories of famous people, there are tough issues to address -- segregated America and religious persecution in England are topics I've tackled as I write for young people."

Hollihan, mother of two grown children, lives with her pilot husband Bill in Blue Ash, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia E. Downes VINE VOICE on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I really enjoy the 21 Activities series by Chicago Review Press. I've read and recommended many of them, including Archeology for Kids, Civil War for Kids, and World War II for Kids. Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids is another in the series.

What I like about them is the easy-to-read text and the activities included that help kids put what they read into perspective. This particular book has kids building waterwheels, testing pendulum swings, and investigating Newton's three laws of motion. Lots of fun activities!

What I didn't like in this particular book is that, although it was written for grades 4-7, the text (especially in the last half of the book) was more appropriate for grades 7-12. The information provided about Newton includes his battles with depression and the possibility that Newton hid a homosexual relationship. I don't think many 4th graders are going to be very interested in these topics.

However, I still recommend the book as a family read aloud with discussion. All ages will enjoy the activity suggestions.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Henderson on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 9-yr-old son enjoyed this. I skimmed through it because another review mentioned the book discussed Newton's sexual orientation, which made me wonder if it was inappropriate for a 9-yr-old. The reference is at the very end of the book, and discusses how recent historians have viewed some of Newton's friendships as possibly homosexual in nature. The reference is brief, and I didn't feel it made the book inappropriate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AMC in WV on December 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the kind of book that you don't want to have in electronic format. A hard copy would make it easier to flip back and forth. The historical background that lead to Newton was great, but I was disappointed that many of the activities were crafts (i.e. making a plague mask) vs. getting down to some experiments on motion and gravitation. Another activity was to make a "junk" notebook, which is essentially a science notebook. Another wasted activity as we already have lab books. On the positive side, there was a lot of information that I could use in teaching Newton's laws of motion, so it did have some use. If you are looking to teach your kids about Newton, this is not a single source of information. I would recommend the internet to supplement what you get here as there are so many great experiments out there that help solidify what they learn.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By VS Grenier Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Who do you think is the greatest scientist of all time? Various people will likely have different opinions in answer to that question, but certainly everyone should be able to agree that one of them is Sir Isaac Newton. Born in 1642, Newton is perhaps best remembered for the story, which may or may not be true, of how he developed the law of gravity after watching an apple fall to the ground. However, Newton was truly a phenomenal figure in the history of science who contributed to the study of optics, calculus, astronomy, and chemistry in addition to the study of physics. Additionally, he served his country both as a Member of Parliament and first Warden and then Master of the Mint.

Author Kerrie Logan Hollihan not only chronicles the history of Newton's life and work but also introduces students to the methods of scientific discovery, including rational questioning, systematic experimentation, and rigorous exploration, by including 21 activities with step-by-step instructions and detailed illustrations to help stimulate interest in science. Some of the activities include building a sextant, conducting a series of tests with a pendulum, and mixing up a batch of homemade ink. There is also information about many of Newton's Enlightenment contemporaries and friends, such as mathematician Galileo Galilei and architect Christopher Wren. Newton was certainly not a "perfect" human being, and this book does not gloss over his faults.

Two things stand out about Newton: First, "he firmly believed that God was the creator of all things" (p. 70). Also, in spite of what some revisionist historians have concluded, "Newton's reputation as a great man of science stands firm" (p. 120). [...] Otherwise, Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids is a fascinating look at a great scientist who, despite his personal weaknesses and failings, contributed much to our understanding of the physical universe.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Diana on July 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kerrie Logan Hollihan has written an amazing book about a fascinating and complex man. She brings Newton to life and makes his ideas accessible to young readers. Excellent visuals and fun activities add to this already rich work, making the book a great resource for teachers, parents, and home-schoolers!
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By Jeremiah M Featherkile on February 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! Bought this as part of my son's 5th grade homeschool studies. We both loved reading through this book! He loves science and loves the added activities.
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this was a gift for my 9 year old nephew. He loves science and likes to read. This will give him more information on Isaac Newton and physics
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By ann marie miller on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great gift for kids who love science. Grandson is 10, and had this on his Santa list. Very nice quality, and he loves it.
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