Albert Einstein
by Tabatha Yeatts

Price at time of review: $5.95
128 pp.
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
New York, NY
ISBN: 1402732287

Grade Level: 6-10

Reviewed by Judy Kraus
Science Teacher, Hyde Park Middle School

Tabatha Yeatts escorts readers through Einstein's life and times, beginning with his birth in 1879 in Ulm, Germany. This biography weaves a tale of his family's struggles, through failed businesses and the anti-Semitism prevalent during the era. Even as a child, Einstein exhibited the introspective, thoughtful demeanor that would prove his greatest asset when developing theories as an adult. Unfortunately, this behavior was not viewed positively in school. Combined with his disdain for military service, this led him to revoke his German citizen and complete high school in Switzerland.

An independent thinker, Einstein would rather participate in café discussions than attend class. His lack of respect for the professors did not hinder his education, but it proved detrimental after graduation as he applied for university positions. As a theorist rather than a research technician, the time spent employed in the patent office gave him time to think and contemplate physics problems he encountered. Conversations with friends at their unofficial Olympia Academy provided food for thought, and Einstein produced multiple papers on light, space, and time. Eventually, he entered the world of academia and received recognition for his scientific contributions, including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his 1905 paper on photoelectricity paper (not for his theory of relativity).

The entire novel is an intricate story spanning the personal and professional life of a complicated individual. The timeline of the events of Einstein’s life (which follows the table of contents) allows readers to preview the story's highlights. A century of images, from a portrait of Hermann Einstein to the National Academy of Sciences statue of Albert Einstein provide a reference of his life and times. Albert Einstein: The Miracle Mind provides a glimpse into the mind of a genius and insight into an era.

Review posted on 6/8/2009

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