Reviews for Isaac Newton
Booklist Reviews 2006 April #1
Gr. 5-8. Krull's second offering in the Giants of Science series (Leonardo da Vinci, 2005) profiles Sir Isaac Newton, the secretive, obsessive, and brilliant English scientist who invented calculus, built the first reflecting telescope, developed the modern scientific method, and discerned many of our laws of physics and optics. Engaging in limited speculation about Newton's personality (Did he have Asperger's syndrome or suffer from mercury poisoning?), Krull recounts Newton's lonely childhood, his penchant for quiet reflection, and the difficulties that led to his feuding with other scientists. The lively, conversational style will appeal to readers; Newton comes off as disagreeable and difficult, but never boring. Krull also does a credible job explaining several of Newton's complex theories^B. She offers no documentation, but she appends a list of books and Web sites for those who want more facts. Kulikov's humorous pen-and-ink drawings complement the lighthearted text of this fascinating introduction, which will appeal to both would-be scientists and children in need of a quick-to-read biography. ((Reviewed April 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
Krull explains Newton's influence on the thinking of other scientists (e.g., contributing the laws of gravity and motion), as well as on the nature of scientific thinking. The conversational tone of the energetic volume not only eases readers into clear explanations of physics and calculus but also lends a lively voice to a biography chock-full of information. Websites. Bib., ind. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #3
As she did so well in the first entry in the Giants of Science series (Leonardo da Vinci, rev. 9/05), Krull once again defines her subject as a scientist, explaining his influence on the thinking of other scientists (contributing the laws of gravity and motion, for example), as well as on the nature of scientific thinking. Before Newton, science was based on conjecture; after Newton, inductive reasoning through the scientific method became the accepted approach to this infant discipline. Half a dozen pen-and-ink illustrations emphasize Newton's characteristics: he was friendless, driven, vindictive, quirky, but always thinking. And even though Newton acknowledged the accomplishments of others ("If I have seen further it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants"), he worked mainly in isolation; his own shoulders, which carried very large chips, had few places for his contemporaries to find footholds and further their own work. Krull's conversational tone not only eases readers into clear explanations of physics and calculus, but also lends a lively voice to a biography chock-full of information. The energetic volume concludes with a bibliography, suggested websites, and an index. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2006 March #1
Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton's youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community-he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead-further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull's colloquial treatment sketches Newton's advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on "His Impact" places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 May #1
In our Best Books citation, PW wrote of the launch title in the Giants of Science series, Leonardo da Vinci, "Kathleen Krull conveys his humanity and sense of humor, and places him in the context of his times." In her second biography, Krull places Isaac Newton in the context of 17th-century England, and alongside his scientific discoveries, she also points out his attempts to predict the future based on Bible passages. Boris Kulikov once again infuses the facts with a hefty dose of humor in his crosshatch pen-and-inks. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2006 March
Gr 5-7 -Krull fulfills the promise of the outstanding previous volume in this series, Leonardo da Vinci (Viking, 2005) with this follow-up. Writing in a style aptly described in the blurb as "juicily anecdotal" (a tone reflected in Kulikov's witty illustrations), she offers a multifaceted portrait of a genius who was "both brilliant and several slices short of a loaf," capable of revolutionary insights into science but also rude, jealous, and secretive. Along with presenting lucid, animated descriptions of Newton's major achievements, from calculus and the laws of motion to the reflecting telescope (a "cool new toy" that earned him instant election to the Royal Society), the author carefully takes on such speculative topics as his religious beliefs, his homosexuality, and the possibility that his emotional imbalance was a result of poisoning caused by his obsessive alchemical experiments. Though Krull gives Newton more credit than he probably deserves for validating the scientific method, in general her assessment of his stellar position in the history of science is right on target.-John Peters, New York Public Library [Page 243]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 June
Isaac Newton's father died three months before his son's premature birth on Christmas Day, 1642. Three years later, Isaac's mother married a local clergyman who stipulated that Isaac not accompany her when they were married. For eight years, Isaac lived with his grandparents, seeing his mother infrequently. When he was eleven years old, his stepfather died and his mother returned to the family farm as she sent Isaac off to Grammar School at the age of twelve. Boarding with pharmacist William Clark, the boy learned to grind herbs and mix medicines. He spent his free time constructing wooden toys and inventions. Although his mother refused him financial help, Isaac entered Cambridge in 1661, working his way through school. Absorbing knowledge like a sponge, he devoured Copernicus, Galileo, and Descartes. Eschewing personal relationships, he devoted his life to study, becoming a fellow at Trinity College. Newton experimented with light, the color spectrum, and gravity; he invented calculus and the reflecting telescope, but he never learned to deal with other scientists and even tried to sabotage their work A fresh conversational style provides an intimate glimpse into the genius whose brilliant discoveries changed the world but whose social skills were almost nonexistent. Krull paints a sensitive but unbiased portrait of a "secretive, withdrawn, and obsessive" man. This volume provides a completely painless and thoroughly enjoyable read for student assignments. It follows Giants of Science: Leonardo Da Vinci (Viking 2005).-Nancy K. Wallace 4Q 3P M J S Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.