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Download George's Secret Key to the Universe epub

by Christophe Hawking S Stephen W.;Galfard

Title: George's Secret Key to the Universe Binding: Hardcover Author: StephenHawking Publisher: Simon&SchusterChildren'sPublishing
Download George's Secret Key to the Universe epub
ISBN: 0385611811
ISBN13: 978-0385611817
Category: Children
Subcategory: Growing Up & Facts of Life
Author: Christophe Hawking S Stephen W.;Galfard
Language: English
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1St Edition edition (2007)
Pages: 320 pages
ePUB size: 1425 kb
FB2 size: 1802 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 412
Other Formats: doc docx lrf mobi

Remember the 1950's TV show "Watch Mr. Wizard"? Kids visited Mr. Wizard in his home lab and he demonstrated various scientific principles and the science behind ordinary objects. It was great educational TV, it had millions of viewers and associated Mr. Wizard science clubs, it gave rise to the tag line "Gee, Mr. Wizard!", and it probably inspired the Professor Proton character so dear to Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory". But, it would have made a blah book.

The question for me here, notwithstanding the attraction of Stephen and Lucy Hawking's involvement in the project, was whether this book would work as both a substantial introduction to science topics and as a good fictional adventure. I'm happy to report that, at least for me, this book actually works on both levels.

Our hero George has a bit of an edgy relationship to his parents' back-to-nature anti-tech lifestyle, which is an interesting element of the book. George is thrilled when his new neighbors turn out to be an equally edgy girl and her talky scientist Dr.Wizard dad. The book starts like a visit to the lab, but very soon adventure plot elements enter the picture, and before you know it we're involved with a super computer, space travel, black holes and an amazing range of issues related to physics and cosmology.

This is complemented by a portfolio of color photo plates, sidebars, drawings and illustrations. Not too many to get in the way, but enough to add detail, color and interest. There's an acknowledgment at the end of the book of Christophe Galfard, a Hawking associate who vetted the science and made sure it was all current and intelligible, and that just shows the care that went in to making this, if not authoritative, at least correct from the science point of view.

While some of the narrative can be a bit clunky, and some of the story choices are a bit idiosyncratic, (odd villain, some monologuing dialogue, a kind of "Dr. Who" random improv vibe), and parts of the plot require a fantasy instead of scientific tweak to work, the upshot is that this book works as a kid space adventure, it works as a kid buddy adventure, and it works as a tasty science and physics sampler. That's a great and entertaining accomplishment.
This book, written by the Hawkings, is a wonderful way to promote a love and appreciation for real science. Each of the three books in this series focus on a particular subject within the overarching Science branch of Physics.

The premise is that an elementary school aged boy, George, has a scientist and his family move in next door. The scientist, Eric, has a daughter, Annie, who is a little younger than George, and a wife, Susan who is a music teacher. George has parents that are Ecoactivists and have taught George to distrust Science and Technology. They use candles rather than electric lights, grow their own vegetables, are vegetarians who cook all their food from scratch (like broccoli and spinach muffins), don't use computers at all, and go on protest marches. At the beginning of the story George is embarrassed somewhat by his parents because he is made different from the other children at school because of them. Then George meets Annie and her father next door. Eric shows George that Science is amazing and not something to fear. He also teaches George that Scientists are concerned about the state of the planet (and working to help the situation) and that he admires George's parents for taking a stand. George's parents eventually learn to accept Science and it's possible benefit to the planet and humanity for their part.

In order to accomplish all this realization on the part of all the characters in the story, the authors weave an amusing sci-fi plot complete with the world's most powerful computer (a quantum one) named Cosmos able to create doorways into just about anywhere in the Universe. The children ride a comet around the solar system and Eric gets in trouble coming across the universe's most powerful object. George's teacher is actually an evil scientist out to get Eric and steal Cosmos and George also faces school bullies.

The book is interspersed with science essays that could be a bit over the head of younger elementary students and even sometimes older ones. They will be interesting for more advanced students however. It also includes many full color glossy photos from the Hubble. Science facts about the solar system and other cosmic objects are woven into the plot. Also incorporated into the plot is an understanding of how real science actually works and how scientists work together to accomplish it.

My 5th grade students loved this series as a read-aloud. My own children, 5 and 8, love this series as well. I highly recommend the series to parents and teachers. Every elementary school library should have a copy of these. Also, the audiobook versions of these are very well done, although they take out all the science essays. They are dramatized with fun sound effects and voice acting.
Excellent book which I expected knowing who the authors are, Dr. Stephen Hawking and his daughter, Lucy Hawking. My 6 year old great grandson reads very well - no hesitation and the words just flow as he reads. Ben has had an early introduction to the planets and galaxy from his grandfather.
The book "George's Secret Key To The Universe" is factually and beautifully written and is the first of the 3 books. My sincere thanks to
Dr. Hawking and Lucy Hawking.
Got this book for my first grader daughter who does not like to read. So far, we finished chapter one, and she got sucked in! Yes, with the clumsy first chapter, but the language is quirky enough for her to like it. I will update later, as we go through it.We make sure to stop at the science facts sections, and talk about it. I like it, and so does she. She even demonstrated to me how the moon reflects the sun light (I've shown her maybe last year). So yes, I am giving myself a high five. Those of us living in the Bible belt know, that the idea of God making the sun go up and down is pushed down those children's throats here all a little too often. This book is a great resource for secular parents, science inclined, and everyone curious about the world.
Update: finished this book, and started on the next one in the series! She loved it and begged to read it every day!
I bought this for my 9 year old grandson and he loved it! After hearing that he enjoyed it, I then ordered George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt which he enjoyed just as much as George's Secret Key to the Universe. I just ordered the next book in the series, George and the Big Bang and expect the same review from my grandson!