More like 3.5 stars; because, while I definitely enjoyed it very much, there were times when I had no idea what I had just read.
That said, I think HaMore like 3.5 stars; because, while I definitely enjoyed it very much, there were times when I had no idea what I had just read.
That said, I think Hawking did an excellent job bringing a complex topic to mainstream people. It's safe to say that he is in an entirely separate level than most, yet he constantly does his best to bring current scientific theories and concepts to everyone. He doesn't lie about it either, acknowledging that up-to-date science and understanding of the universe is only known by a few scientists at any one point. While this book was written nearly 30 years ago, that fact very likely remains the same. We have made many discoveries since then, but there will always be more. More scientists reaching towards the unknown and grasping at the tiniest bits of information to better understand the What and the Why... and a great majority of people will never know those things (unless we make a huge breakthrough and said theories and answers get incorporated into academic curriculum).
All the same, there were ideas and facts in this book that I do not recall ever being taught in school, and this text has been available as long as I've been alive. So what's holding schools back from exploring more science than the basics? (I'm sure I'd use information in this book more than knowing anything about moles and the atomic weight of potassium...which I just had to look up because I honestly don't remember much from chemistry). And while learning chemistry is important and really helps some students embrace what they love and want to pursue, having knowledge of the building blocks of the universe and debating current and future theories as to WHY, HOW, WHEN, WHAT... EVERYTHING! Wouldn't that make a more enlightened generation?
Plus, you have to enjoy Hawking's subtle humor throughout this text. He's teaching you about black holes, astronauts stretching into a piece of spaghetti due to its forces, and he still has time to crack a joke about how said astronaut could potentially time travel at the core of that black hole in order to predict the outcome of roulette... but he'd never see his winnings because he'd immediately be stretched into spaghetti.
There is so much to absorb in these short 200 pages, and it poses many questions for the reader. The beginning mindset will make all the difference, and the willingness the reader has to embrace other thoughts than their own, the possibility of change, the chance that what you think you know might be wrong. Because, according to Hawking, we have the ability to ask these important questions due to the exact structure of the universe. If one tiny thing were different, intelligent life such as ourselves would not exist. Just let that sink in. We get to ask WHY and HOW by the tiniest chance that things turned out how they did. Whether you believe in Creation or the Inflation theory or some other instance, it has all been so incredibly perfect to create you. How fantastic and mind-blowing is that?
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was excited to get my hands on the second installmI received an advanced reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was excited to get my hands on the second installment of Narwhal and Jelly early. I loved the concept of this early reader, and the first volume did not disappoint. And that goes for volume 2, as well. Same wonderful characters with easy but entertaining shenanigans. The "lessons" in each short chapter are encouraging, the characters (mostly) positive (it's important to keep that bit of reality). The flow of the graphics and the text is wonderful for beginning readers and really would help teach sequence. Plus, who doesn't want to be Super?!
This series is an excellent choice for all public library youth collections (and your home library). ...more