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Log in to update your newsletter preferences. George thought, ... Cosmo said going into space without Eric was a bad idea, but he let them go. The images include a profusion of astronomical colour plates, and much of the science is put across in stand-alone boxes that are pitched at a distinctly higher level of readership than the story itself. But some kids may need help sorting facts from fiction -- on the fiction side, the authors have made the surprising choice to ignore the rules of science. George's Secret Key to the Universe is a delightful book for young readers, a scientific adventure that mostly strikes a nice balance between the adventure and the science, although in places the action does stand still while the science is expounded. It also exemplifies the dangers of trying to combine teaching with storytelling: What you often end up with is a preachy, didactic story told in a condescending tone with stereotypical characters and a plot that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Magdalena Ball is the author of Sleep Before Evening, The Art of Assessment, and Quark Soup. George’s Secret Key To The Universe Not so with George’s Secret Key to the Universe, a funny, lighthearted book for children which nonetheless presents some of Hawkings more complex ideas in a simple way. It will do wonders to raise enthusiasm for physics among young readers, and even this older reader looks forward to the further adventures of George and Annie, which will surely follow. is thrilled to find that his new neighbors, Eric and his daughter, Annie, have the world's most advanced computer. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Please try again, the name must be unique, Please How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives, Participate in DigCit Week with your kid by using curated activities from Wide Open School, Online Playdates, Game Nights, and Other Ways to Socialize at a Distance, Keeping Kids Motivated for Online Learning, Set limits for violence and more with Plus. ← Unexpected Beauty: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, A review of Sixty Poems by Charles Simic →. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, George's Secret Key to the Universe, by Lucy and Stephen Hawking, Email already exists. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post Sharing the full story, not just the headlines. Newest first, -1) ? The star rating reflects overall quality. Get full reviews, ratings, and advice delivered weekly to your inbox. Our ratings are based on child development best practices. The nonfiction parts are fine: good information, clearly told, with some spectacular photos. Eric has invented an amazing computer called Cosmos who has been able to create a portal directly into space. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when Stephen Hawking tale confuses fact and fiction. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Create a commenting name to join the debate. Common Sense and other associated names and logos are trademarks of Common Sense Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (FEIN: 41-2024986). Why does the author mix them up? Stephen Hawking may be a genius at physics, but he has a lot to learn about children's books. George’s Secret Key to the Universe By Lucy & Stephen Hawking About the Book When George’s pet pig breaks through the fence into the yard next door, George meets his new neighbors—Annie and her scientist father, Eric—and discovers a secret key that opens up a whole new way of looking at the world from outer space! Join now. Lucy Hawking is the daughter of the more famous Stephen but, on this evidence, to the next generation he might be best known as her father. The book make a refreshing change for young readers from the dark world of black magic that seems to have taken precedence in fiction for young adults. Random House Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate?

the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Start studying George's Secret Key to the Universe Chapter 10- 17. It's hard to know what role Stephen actually played in the book's writing, as it credits Dr Christophe Galfard, one of his former students, with collaborating on "the scientific storyline, details and images". Copyright © 2020 Compulsive Reader. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to There is a nice blend here between physical fact, science fiction (if only a computer like Cosmos existed), and that lovely sense of wonder that augments astronomy. Why didn't he make the fiction part scientifically accurate, too? As the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge, and author of a number of books and papers, including the widely read A Brief History of Time, he has changed the way we see ourselves, our world, and the cosmos. Doubleday, £12.99.

Thank you for your support. Relatively recently, Hawking has discovered the ways in which black holes emit energy and slowly disappear, and these are explained very simply and easily. Order for £11.69 (free p&p) on 0870 079 8897, The best in film, music, TV & radio straight to your inbox, Register with your social account or click here to log in. Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size. Some of my earliest defining experiences involved the planetarium. George, whose parents shun all technology (even light bulbs!)

The whole package is lavish indeed by the standards of children's books and this, presumably, is where the elder Hawking comes in. 1. Lucy Hawking is the daughter of the more famous Stephen but, on this evidence, to the next generation he might be best known as her father. The most popular and oldest online newspaper of Britain, The Independent, gave these books positive review and called them excellent books that can bring revolution in the minds of young readers. Reviews of books by some of the hottest writers working today, exclusive author interviews, literary news and criticism. The relationship between George and Eric is well handled as George moves between awe, exasperation, and a kind of filial care. Guidelines. Parents need to know that there's nothing objectionable here, and much to learn. This might be forgivable in straight sci-fi or fantasy (though even there kids like to have things make sense), but in a book that purports to teach the basics of astronomy and physics, it's just confusing -- how are young readers to know what's true, what's theoretical, and what's just plain nonsense? Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

'active' : ''"> try again, the name must be unique, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful The most insightful comments on all subjects 'active' : ''"> All Rights Reserved. Wondering if George's Secret Key to the Universe is OK for your kids? try again, the name must be unique, Please Secure in the knowledge that his name will sell, the publishers have given the book every opportunity to stand out in the marketplace. His books are written in such a way that a layperson can read them, but they’re primarily designed for adults to read, and the concepts are pretty heady. Families can talk about the facts, fictions, and theories in the book. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? George’s Secret Key to the Universe GEORGE'S SECRET KEY TO THE UNIVERSE is an example of what you get when someone decides to write for children because, after all, how hard can it be? language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification, -1) ? Oldest first, -1) ? What really makes George’s Secret Key to the Universe interesting is that the concepts that underpin it are quite modern. Please There are also illustrations by Garry Parsons. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. by Stephen and Lucy Hawking It was an epiphany I still draw on as a writer, and one which I suspect is a motivating factor for many a scientist. The story works on two levels — both fictional and nonfictional. For Eric has the The Magazine Basic Theme by This is a neat idea, which means that the book will continue to be useful after the reader has grown out of the story. Which are which? They grow all their own vegetables, knit, and keep a large pig in the backyard. Oldest first, -1) ? Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Not that the book is perfect. In addition to being entertaining, the story was designed to illuminate real scientific principles and explore some topical issues around the uses and mis-uses of technology. The relationship between George and Eric is well handled as George moves between awe, exasperation, and a kind of filial care. But George's sinister teacher seems to have an unusual interest in finding out more. © Common Sense Media. to your comment. I will never forget sitting in that big round auditorium and suddenly experiencing a sense of the universe as a whole in all its beautiful, magical glory. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. We won't share this comment without your permission. ISBN 9780385612708, $27.95aud, ages 9-12 Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free. Stephen Hawking requires no introduction.

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