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The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works Hardcover – October 21, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marshall Brain is the founder of the award-winning website HowStuffWorks.com. A graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he earned his master's in computer science from North Carolina State University, where he later taught. Named one of the Carolina's top entrepreneurs by Ernst & Young, Brain is also a distinguished speaker and author of more than a dozen books, in which he masterfully simplifies complex subject matter into a digestible format for people of all ages and experience levels.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426203373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426203374
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.6 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Another title for this review could be: Calling All Homeschool Students and Parents: Here is Your Science Book!

After homeschooling my son for eight years, I love to discover books like this one from National Geographic. This book is a treasure for homeschooling families that is useful for children of all ages. Yes, all ages. Four-, five-, and six- year olds will love paging through The Science Book, and I can guarantee that their interest will be piqued! One child may be fascinated by space travel; another by the story of dinosaurs. Of course a five-year-old may not understand the fine points of these subjects, but she (or he) will be curious, delighted, and very willing to have Mom or Dad read out loud from this book as she looks at the pictures. Homeschooled high school students will find the sections on Chemistry (Organic and Inorganic) and Physics/Technology to be comprehensive, with enough detail and explanations for a firm grasp of the subject.

The Science Book includes a substantial section on Mathematics, including Classical Mathematics, Analytical Geometry, Calculus, Probability, and Pure and Applied Mathematics. The inclusion of mathematics, the science based on abstract ideas "created by logical thought processes" emphasizes the interdisciplinary approach that is intrinsic to the study of science in the 21st century.

The Science Book makes fascinating reading for anyone, not just students learning at home. In The Science Book, students in school will find the very same concepts they study in science class, but this book offers a clear overview and in a concise, easy-to-understand layout. This book can enhance understanding of the sciences taught in middle and high schools.

If you have a curious mind and want a quick yet full answer for your science questions, then The Science Book should be on your bookshelf. For me, science always has made fascinating reading, and I find this book to be as informative as it is enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
... YOU 1) don't have a 'hard science' background and 2) would like to have a great all-in-one science encyclopedia, you will most likely LOVE this book.

The book contains excellent material, concise yet fairly complete, beautifully illustrated and ... simply fantastic to read and flip through the topics you just feel reading.

The writers were bold and claim that the books contains 'everything you need to know about the world and how it works'. I cannot judge the validity of this statement while I feel it covers all the big points in the hard science world nicely.

Excellent structure; THE UNIVERSE, THE EARTH, BIOLOGIE, CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY & MATHEMATICS.

I strongly feel that this book is a masterpiece for readers fulfilling the two points above (incl. myself).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a Christmas present for my then 10-year old son last year. I don't think he looked at it a ton until recently, but he's super into it now. It has tons of information, so none of it is super in depth, but it's not terribly superficial, either. (How's that for vague? Haha!) It's kind of like an encyclopedia for science. Has a fair amount of information on many, many topics, including physics, dinosaurs, technology, and biology. It's great. It's been engaging enough that he's wanted to investigate more in depth on some of the topics on his own. He's pretty science minded and I'm not, so it's also been great at answering certain questions that mom can't. In general, I would recommend this book for older kids though. Even though he's super bright, it definitely has a fair amount that's over his head. That's ok for him because he's persistent and obsessed with science, so your mileage may vary!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent material content. Concise yet complete. Beautifully illustrated, with extras. No home should be without one.
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Format: Hardcover
It's a science book for teens, and an overview for adults. It touches upon the basic facts of the wonderful world of science. It doesn't go into depth on every subject in this 421-page book or else it will be a lot heavier. It doesn't have all the facts you may want to have in this book. It left out a lot of information. It is not a textbook. It could be called Wikipedia Science. It is still a great book, wonderful color pictures, brief but still good facts in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I went into a local B&N intending to buy another physics book, but after just finishing Brian Green's The Elegant Universe, my brain could use a bit of rest. lol.

I agree with the other commenter who said, this book gives you the facts but plays it safe. The National Geographic' name played a big part in me buying the book. But I did noticed the authors all had PDa. Although they should also have mentioned what schools they came from, but I guess that's nitpicking.

Call me paranoid, but I'm always worried some Creationist from the sales or editing department will manage to influence the authors. On page 20 under the category "The Universe" the last paragraph talks about the Big Bang and Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and after just saying "Most scientist have accepted the Big Bang model" it ends the section with, "There may be other valid models which are also consistent with observational data." And then abruptly ends. Kinda weird, no? What other valid models are they referring too? Now you got me all curious. :)

The next section goes pretty similar. It talks about the red shift and actually goes into really good detail on how the Redshift is such strong evidence for the Big Bang, but there it goes ending the section with "So far, however, no generally accepted explanation for the redshift has been found." --

Last time I checked wikipedia, the explanation was called "the doppler effect."

So yeah, some parts a are little weird. However, it makes the main points very clear (big thumbs up) but sprinkles in only a dash of confusion. I guess that's the authors sneaky way of getting Critical Thinking back into our heads.

Overall I'm giving this book two thumbs up and five gold stars.
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