Saturday, February 18, 2017

Netgalley Review Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd by Mary Losure

Product Details  

    Mary Losure writes non-fiction for children. When I saw this book on NetGalley, I thought that it might be something that Timmy might enjoy too. I was happy when I was chosen to review it. (I might try to get Timothy to review it as well so they can get an idea of what the "target audience" thinks.) 
      Other than Newtonian physics, I didn't know too much about Isaac Newton. This book talks about some of his laws of physics, but mostly discusses his role as an alchemist. There are a few things that I really enjoyed about the book. The first was that it gives a lot of information about what Isaac was like as a person. As a music teacher, there are many times that I notice that my students have an idea about who famous composers are, or what they did, but they do not really have any idea how these people fit into "the big picture" historically. These composers just seem like facts in a book rather than people. It was nice to for me to hear about Isaac's quirks and personality traits, as well information about his family and living conditions. Ms. Losure also explains some of the concepts that were known/unknown in the time period that Newton was living in (Ex. how a prism works- what Newton discovered vs. what was thought at the time or how planets moved through space)
     Another thing I enjoyed was that it was a quick, easy, entertaining read. I wondered if Tim would understand some of the more technical information, like some of the symbols used in Alchemy, but there were definitely science-related things that he will find very interesting, like the information on simple machines. Towards the end of the book, the author tells how some of the discoveries made by Newton have been used in other scientific successes (like sending a rocket into space).  Ms. Losure also wrote a few blurbs that kind of challenged kids to come up with their own discoveries and inquiries.  I also enjoyed her mention of some of the interesting resources she used and the supplemental material at the end of the book. 
     I would recommend this to children who like biographies and science. I will ask Tim to give his opinion here on the blog when he is finished with the book. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the digital copy.

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