Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein” as Want to Read:
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  460 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
When he was born in 1879, Albert was a peculiarly fat baby with an unusually big and misshaped head. When he was older, he hit his sister, frustrated his teachers, and had few friends. But Albert’s strange childhood also included his brilliant capacity for puzzles and problem solving: the mystery of a compass’s swirling needle, the intricacies of Mozart’s music, the secret ...more
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published September 27th 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Odd Boy Out, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Odd Boy Out

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,068)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lisa Vegan
Sep 10, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
This wasn’t quite what I’d expected and I got a different take on how Einstein was as a child. I’d always thought he did poorly in all subjects (but apparently he always did well in math and well enough in music) and first began to talk much later than this book indicates. I also had no idea he felt so very alone and was a frustrated, angry, and aggressive child, although I suppose it makes sense given what we now know about his brilliant mind. However, I had a bit of a hard time liking the boy, ...more
This book was an excellent introduction to the life of Albert Einstein. For me, it won't be an Introduction, though. It will likely be the entirety of what I'll read about him. But I enjoyed it and learned some things about a great man.

I say I learned "some" things, but there's really only one thing that I'm taking away from this book: I learned that he was a pretty nasty child, with an awful temper. He was violent, even, toward his poor little sister. :-( (Throwing a hard ball at her? Hitting
Feb 02, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
What ARE you going to say about Einstein that'll fit in a picture book for the 4 - 8 crowd?

Quite a lot, apparently. Like many children, young Albert (and this book does focus mainly on his youth) never fit in. The other children liked sports, and watching soldiers on parades; he didn't. Other children talked and cooed at two; he didn't. Other children answered questions quickly in class, and bothered with the classes they didn't like, and socialized at parties... not so Albert.

The author covers
Lana Hoffman
Nov 22, 2008 Lana Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
This book enlightens us about Albert Einsteins life as a child and growing up into adulthood. The reader learns the "human" side of Einstein.

Overall anyone who is interested in learning about Albert Einstein will find this book appealing. It does a terrific job of summarizing his life. The Hornbook Guide rated it a 1 and I agree with that evaluation. All of the information is presented in a clear way.
Specifically, it is a good introduction to Einstein, scientists in general, and physics. It
I am not sure what went wrong with this book. It really started out promisingly--the first couple of pages engaged my niece and nephew (and me), and I thought, "oh, this is going to be a biography of Einstein that will be accessible to the kids!" I was excited! And then.... I wasn't.

It was interesting to learn that he was a problem child, to be sure, and I think those bits will stick with my niece and nephew, but I really don't think that anything past Einstein's early childhood years is going t
Inhabiting Books
This book introduced my girls to Albert Einstein, taking him from his birth to the years of his greatest accomplishments in theoretical physics, highlighting his early characteristics, personality and interests. My older two girls liked the book, even though they didn't understand the science it contained.

They were especially intrigued when the book mentions Einstein's early fascination with the compass, since they recently acquired compasses and we have been working on the concept of magnetic
Nov 20, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
When I discovered that there was a picture book about Albert Einstein, I was thrilled to be able to share his story with our girls. This book helps to explain a little about his early years, his interests, and his love for solving puzzles.

I liked that the book shows that he was considered a troubled child and that he became a wildly successful mathematician and scientist, despite his difficulties in school.

The narrative wasn't as engaging as I'd hoped, but the pen-and-ink and watercolor illust
Aug 09, 2016 Ashley added it
Title: Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein
Author: Don Brown
Genre: Biography (3-5)
Theme(s): childhood, learning, growing up
Opening line/sentence:
“On a sunny, cold Friday in the old city of Ulm, Germany, a baby names Albert Einstein is born.”
Brief Book Summary:
It is the story of Albert Einstein’s childhood. He was an odd boy with strange ideas and a bad temper, but the strange ideas he had would change the way everyone in the future understands the world.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Apr 28, 2016 ALB rated it liked it
CSULB 545 Class 5: Children’s Biography: Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

Brown, Don. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

[May contain spoilers]

Subject: Albert, his parents, his family

Theme: Fitting into the expected role of behavior is not what’s most important.

Golden quotes: “To things he enjoys, he brings a single-minded attention” (7). “‘I believe that love [of a subject] is a better teacher than a sense of duty -- at least for me,’ he later said” (17).

Katie DeBrisco
Title: Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein
Author: Don Brown
Illustrator: Don Brown
Genre: Biography geared towards upper elementary
Theme: Believe in yourself; dedication; motivation; strive for greatness; the life of Einstein
Opening line/sentence: “On a sunny cold Friday”

Brief Book Summary: This story talks about the life of young Albert Einstein. He was a different child growing up who didn’t like to play sports and was made fun of for liking math. He struggles through his childhood, but eventu
Tongtong Wu
Apr 15, 2016 Tongtong Wu rated it really liked it
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein (2004) by Don Brown

This story talks about when and where Albert was born. He is a different child growing up. Albert does not like sports.Classmates taunt him for being Jewish. He loves math but hates Latin and Greek. His teachers become annoyed by Albert who never gives short simple answers to their questions. He earns great grades and loves music. He meets an older medical student who gives him a geometry book. Albert soared through the book and his f
Apr 13, 2016 997997 rated it it was amazing
This book is about Albert Einstein. At first, Albert is not a good boy when he was a kid, he is called "odd kid", and he always bothered his teacher, and bully his sister in his childhood. When he grew up, he is fascinated with researching puzzling, and he was really good at math, but his teachers cannot understand him, which made him really disappointed, but he still insist on his own idea no matter how hurt him for what teachers said to him. He liked thinking and doing some research in science ...more
Megan Mandl
May 08, 2015 Megan Mandl rated it it was amazing
Personal Response: Although some of this book is gloomy, I really like this book. I love how it shows that it is okay to be different. It goes through Albert Einstein's life story and shows how he was never really accepted or appreciated, but ended up making some of the most significant contributions to math and science. My favorite line is the very last sentence of the book, which says: "For the world, 'Einstein' comes to mean not fat baby, or angry child, or odd boy, but great thinker". I love ...more
Rebecca Tenbrook
Mar 21, 2014 Rebecca Tenbrook rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book that gave readers a look into Einstein's young life. I liked this book particularly because it discusses a lot of facts about Einstein. I never really learned about him formally in school and I am not sure if younger children now do either but I think this book would provide a lot of facts and create background knowledge if/when students do learn about him. I also liked that it showed readers what he was like as a kid. Einstein was very different and he was angry and em ...more
Xinwen Xu
Apr 12, 2016 Xinwen Xu rated it liked it
The book told us a very great story. The story is about a boy named Albert, he was a peculiarly fat baby, and he has a big and misshaped head. He is not a very good kid, he often hit his sister and frustrated with teacher. When he is older he move to a large city of Munich. His families hope he can changed and become independence, but he also cannot find any good friends in the new place. One day, soldiers on parade excite Albert. Albert's classmates do not like him because he is a Jewish. But a ...more
Shea Lavalier
• Interest Level: Lower Grades
• Reading Level: 4.6
• Guided Reading Level: S
• Genre: Biography
• Support for the genre: Talks about the life of Albert Einstein from birth to adulthood. Talks about his achievements and growing up in the way a child could relate to.
• Additional Genres: Picture Books

Read about what Albert Einstein was like as a child, how he differed from other children, what subjects he liked and didn’t like and his family life. Then learn about what happened to Einstein as
Lacey Pyle
Apr 14, 2016 Lacey Pyle rated it it was ok
"Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein" by Don Brown was a very interesting read. Brown takes us through an Albert Einstein biography that only shows his childhood. The book was definitely enlightening to my knowledge of Einstein. However, what I learned was not what I was expecting. In fact I was shocked to realize Albert Einstein was quite the difficult and aggressive child! I do think this book would appeal to older readers who struggle to fit in with peers their own age because it took Einstein ...more
Ali Strang
Nov 18, 2013 Ali Strang rated it really liked it
Age: 6-12
Review: This is a simplified and picture biography of Albert Einstein. The book describes Albert as a young boy and how he appeared different to the rest of the world. It then shows how he came to be known as a great scientist through exploring his interests. This is a very kid friendly book that gives students a brief biography of Albert's life. It would be great to start a science class or a research project for younger students.
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein, by Don Brown is an episodic biography, which focused on the first 12 years of his academic career. Albert was a child that was quiet and prone to tantrums, not interested in his baby sister or playing ball with the other boys, who jeered at him with Jewish slurs.He preferred his single-minded projects and his love of mathematics. Albert's weakness was the humanities, Latin and Greek languages with subjects connected to them. His family, left for their business ...more
Dec 11, 2007 Shanna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 2-4
Odd Boy Out is the biography of young Albert Einstein and shows his love for math and science growing up. It is a great connecting book for math instruction, and also could be used to highlight history and science connections as well.
Crain Taylor
Feb 08, 2014 Crain Taylor rated it liked it
Shelves: crain-grades-3-5
This complex picture book biography about Albert Einstein is great for pleasure reading or for a research project for elementary school students. The illustrations are very well done and help tell the story in an entertaining way. The book is easy to follow and has many interesting facts about Einstein. The story follows Albert from his birth on March 14, 1879, through his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In addition to containing interesting and usable facts about Albert Einstein and his ...more
Jul 27, 2012 Kellee rated it liked it
Good book to introduce Einstein's life, but very little about his actual discoveries and seems to jump quickly in places. Enjoyed the story of his young life, though, and found the illustrations quirky and fun.
Apr 20, 2016 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
The story about a boy who never fit in. Even in his own home. Albert Einstein grows up knowing that he isn't interested in the things that anyone his age are interested in, and this worries his parents. It isn't until he goes to a therapist and he introduces him to geometry, that he finds something he loves to do. He loves to find out how things work, and grows up to be one of the most famous names in science. This is a great educational book to read in the class room when you are talking about ...more
Apr 29, 2009 Sean added it
Genre: Picture Book

Age Level: Fluent/transitional. Is factual, and uses larger, technical terms at times, but a transitional reader could get through while learning some new vocabulary words.

World View: White, Eurocentric

Theme: love of who you are, and what you do. Einstein believed that "...the love [of a subject:] is better than a sense of duty - at least for me."

Literary Elements: foreshadowing. the book contains alot of foreshadowing, to Einstein's

In the Classroom: This would be a good boo
N_patricia Brunner
Nov 06, 2010 N_patricia Brunner rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Keltner
1. Biography/Autobiography
2. A picture book describing the life of Albert Einstein. Describing his life including his family and the various places that he lived.
3. a: The greatest strength from the book is how the pictures explain the incidents that are occurring in young Albert's life. It is written in a style to which is easy to understand and yet extremely informative.
b: The use of the language of the story is one that allows one to have empathy with Albert. "The Einstein's move to the la
Karen Peters
Nov 11, 2012 Karen Peters rated it it was amazing
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein is a biographical picture book intended for the older Nursery child(N) and younger Primary(P) age child. Don Brown uses a combination of pen, ink, and watercolors to depict the story of an odd temperamental misfit who becomes one of the greatest scientists of all time. In just 28 colorfully illustrated pages we are able to learn quite a lot about Albert Einstein. Young Einstein was known as a "fat baby" who was often cranky and prone to terrible tantrums. With ...more
Oct 29, 2013 Megdep rated it really liked it
The is a picture book about Albert Einstein. Apparently, Albert was an unhappy kid who didn't talk for a long time and disliked school. He was not like other kids, didn't like sports, was teased for being Jewish and frightened of soldiers. He liked math but not other school subjects, ends up with a job in the patent office after finishing school, gets married....... And his mind is "bright and glowing with ideas." A discussion of E-mc2 is presented in a simple way that still leaves the reader my ...more
Hillary Forrest
Oct 07, 2013 Hillary Forrest rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
I selected this book as my second of three choice books. This particular book, written by Don Brown won the Notable Children’s Book Award in 2005. I selected this book because at some point or another everyone has felt that they are left out. I was charmed by the title and the simple illustrations on the title page.

The jacket of the book is dark with a young boy who stands out. He is surrounded by several different mathematical symbols. The title, “Odd Boy Out,” is displayed in big white letter
Dec 03, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein / Brown, Don / 2004

Genre: Nonfiction

Format: Picture Book

Plot summary:
A picture book biography that introduces the early life and work of Albert Einstein. The focus is on anecdotes that show Einstein’s character, his temper and his ability for single-minded focus, instead of on trying to explain his theorems.

Selection source used to find the material:
White, M., Angus, C., Battisti, J., Ciszek, P., Falk, L., Kruse, G. M., & .
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon
  • Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
  • The Boy on Fairfield Street
  • Eleanor
  • Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History
  • Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin
  • Gandhi
  • Rocks in His Head
  • Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas
  • Richard Wright and the Library Card
  • Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
  • Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World
  • Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor
  • Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln
  • Emily
  • Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero
  • Leonardo's Horse
  • The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pac
More about Don Brown...

Share This Book