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I am Albert Einstein (Ordinary People Change the World) Hardcover – September 16, 2014
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—In this simplistic, "feel good" book about Albert Einstein, the scientist relates the story of his life in first-person narration. Meltzer emphasizes the theme of curiosity in a heavy-handed way, reminiscent of the old "Valuetales" series (Value Communications). Children will enjoy the comic-book—like illustrations that always depict Einstein as a small figure with an oversize head, tiny body, and mustache and mop of white hair—even as a child (meanwhile, grown-up Einstein is dwarfed by other adult characters). However, because of the lack of explanatory information and background material, the book fails to live up to expectations for biographical nonfiction. Readers will come away without a firm grounding in who Einstein was or what he accomplished. Helpful supplements such as an author's note, time line, resources, or recommended reading are also missing. Though this title may have some entertainment value, adults should be on hand to explain how much is fictionalized. For a picture-book biography of Einstein that truly succeeds, try Jennifer Berne's On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein (Chronicle, 2013), a superbly written work that features dreamy watercolors and emphasizes the scientist's creativity and wonder. For those seeking a more traditional biography, Dana Meachen Rau's easy reader Albert Einstein (Compass Point, 2003) is a better alternative to Meltzer's effort.—Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
In this brief biography for young children, Meltzer traces the life of one of the greatest of all scientists. Stressing both curiosity and independence, Albert says I did things my own way. From an early age he liked playing alone and thinking, and he began to question why the universe behaves as it does. Expressing a love for the logical structure of math and physics, he builds a 14-story high house of cards, balances an incredible construction out of blocks, and soon quickly surpasses his contemporaries and teachers in intellect. Readers will be interested to learn despite being a supersmart genius, Albert didn’t always get good grades. In later life he is shown receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory of relativity. Cartoon illustrations depict Albert’s iconic mop of awesome hair starting with a baby tuft but morphing into a full head of fluff even as a toddler and on into old age. The drawings are always comical and the text is both humorous and informative. At the conclusion, actual photographs of Einstein flesh out the cartoons. Grades 1-3. --Lolly Gepson