From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 8 Up–In this first book in a projected series of six, Hakim has interwoven creation myths, history, physics, and mathematics to present a seamless, multifaceted view of the foundation of modern science. The acknowledgments page reads like a Who's Who of the academic physics world, thanking the many researchers and experts who provided fact checking and advice. The entire volume is beautifully organized and the multidisciplinary approach to science is immediately apparent from the table of contents. Chapter headings contain subheadings prefaced by an image that indicates the focus of the chapter–science, math, language arts, technology and engineering, geography, or philosophy. Full-color photos and illustrations appear throughout; quotes and sidebars offer related information. The text never suffers from oversimplification and the writing holds its own with the many compelling visuals. Only a slight amount of fictionalization is evident with the author occasionally suggesting the possible thoughts of ancient groups pondering the mysteries of the universe. At its essence, the book displays the most appealing aspect of science and mathematics: that advances result from a practical need solved by curious minds.–Courtney Lewis, Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, Kingston, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. Hakim opens the new Story of Science series with a book guaranteed to kick the history of science up a notch. Dividing the text into manageable sections with zingy titles ("Why Mars Is a Little Loopy"), she livens the writing with questions, asides, and changes of tense; recaps, restates, and refers back to important points; strews color illustrations with substantial captions thickly throughout; and sprinkles it all with fresh insights. Best of all, she respects the ability of young readers to absorb difficult ideas--whether that's early developments in physics, or the discovery and refinement of mathematics and geometry. She'll keep visual learners rapt, too, with lucid diagrams, photos, and art reproductions, and instead of drawn maps, she includes dramatic, lightly labeled satellite photos. Hakim does make a few bobbles (the Euclidian axiom "the whole is greater than the part" is incorrectly stated as "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"), and her glances toward Asia and ancient Central America are too brief to change the Eurocentric focus. Still, this account of modern science's dawn, up to the revolution engendered by moveable type, presents a rare mix of visual appeal, intellectual content, and lively personal voice that will propel readers to the end and leave them impatient for more. John PetersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved