Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor
Textbook? Novel? Joy Hakim's books are always a little of both, and this one is even more fascinating than the previous two editions of The Story of Science. This volume begins with Einstein toiling in the patent office, about to produce the amazing insights of his "miracle year." Then, interwoven throughout the story, are the contributions of the other physicists and chemists upon whose shoulders Einstein stood.
Like all of Hakim's books, this one is filled with anecdotes, historical context, and deeper insights into the real methods of science than any other textbook has ever offered to students at this level. And most importantly, it is a joy to read! In a strict sense, this book should be seen as a foundational text for an integrated program of physical science---ideally at grade 9 or 10. There will be no mathematical barrier at this level, but there are many opportunities to link math, language arts, social studies, and the arts to the book. It would be the ideal choice as a book for a teamed middle school. But don't relegate it to the textbook selection process. Wrap it up for your vacation reading. I guarantee you'll learn more about physical science, about Einstein and his peers, and about the grand endeavor we call science, than you ever imagined---in the most pleasant way possible.This book is an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2008.
Review posted on 5/7/2007