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Time And Space of Uncle Albert Paperback – June 8, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A science project for young Gedanken turns into an exploration of space and time when her Uncle Albert steps in. Uncle Albert is a famous scientist, and it's his imagination that sends Gedanken into the "largest spacecraft never built" to examine near light-speed phenomena. This Albert is no Einstein, but with his help, Gedanken is led through Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in a painlessly educational manner. This fictional approach to highly technical material has the obvious drawback--it is didactic. Nevertheless, the author's clear, single-minded presentation of the material does work. Although no young readers will mistake these somewhat talky adventures for science fiction in the classic sense, Stannard's easily understood explication of this century's most elegant and thought-provoking scientific ideas makes it worthwhile. Ages 11-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-- The point of this novel is not to engage readers in the lives of its characters, but to explain Einstein's theory of relativity. Uncle Albert and his niece Gedanken unravel and reveal abstract concepts through a computer and a spacecraft that allow her to travel in time and space. For the most part, the concepts do become comprehensible, but the device of a fictional framework supported by a contrived plot proves intrusive. The dialogue is plodding and talky, the characterization weighed down by cliches and repetitiousness. ( " That's stupid," Gedanken frequently responds to her kindly, eccentric, brilliant uncle.) The personification of the computer and the giggling light-beams do not give credence to the scientific demonstrations. Packaging a discussion of difficult-to-grasp scientific theory as fiction undermines both readers who want straightforward information and those who are after a good story. Necia Apfel's It's All Relative (Lothrop, 1985) is a more lucid entry to Einstein's theories. --Susan H. Patron, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (June 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571142826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571142828
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,031,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is the best introductory exposition of relativity theory ever written. As a book, it occupies that strange middle ground between fiction and non-fiction, much like the Magic Schoolbus books (where should the librarian put them?), but it is for a somewhat older age group. By somewhat older, I mean only that it has fewer pictures: I'd put it in with all the Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers games, and say it's for ages 8 to 80. For ANYONE who is interested in relativity, no matter what their age, this book is a perfect place to start. Check your library, and if you can't find it try to place an "out of print" order. This book is a gem.
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