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The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Readers will travel back in time to ancient Babylonia, Egypt, and Greece. They will meet the world's first astronomers, mathematicians, and physicists and explore the lives and ideas of such famous people as Pythagoras, Archimedes, Brahmagupta, al-Khwarizmi, Fibonacci, Ptolemy, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Hakim will introduce them to Aristotle—one of the greates ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 17th 2004 by Smithsonian Books (first published May 1st 2004)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  372 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Oct 15, 2008 rated it liked it
I liked this book, I did. The concept is one I support: kids (everyone, really) should have a deeper understanding of the history of science and its impact on the world. Hakim did a good job of writing about people, which makeds for a narrative style that is more accessible. She also did a fantastic job of describing what science is - and active process based on experimenting and testing hypotheses - and how wrong answers can end up being helpful. What I didn't like was the format. The book felt ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Could have been a "Worth my time" (4 stars) save the subtle and not-so-subtle anti-Christian elements, the more frustrating because the book is in a textbook format targeted at a high-school audience..

Hakim spends (rightly so) most of the book talking about the Greek philosophers and their contributions to the philosophy of science. The contributions of the Greek philosophers are foundational pillars of Western civilization, but they were the mere pinnacles of a society where the great majority
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. I've read the history series by Joy Hakim, but either because I had to read them or because I couldn't remember a word of what I'd read, I didn't like that series so much as this one.

It's fascinating how Hakim manages to weave a story of all these people and their discoveries. If science fascinated me as much as it's starting to, I'd probably dump everything else I'm doing to read the recommended reading, and Plato, and Plutarch, and so on and so forth.

I can't recommend it
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This book (volume 1 in a series) covers in depth the scientific contributions of Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, Bacon, Aquinas, Ptolemy, al-Mamun, al-Khwarizmi and others up to 1500 AD. It includes lots of pictures and is written for young people. The book matches up with the material covered in chapter 1 of the Apologia Science book Exploring Creation with General Science.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story, finally I understood who these people were and what they were doing and in what time they lived, and why should I remember their accomplishments. And it is not only about the western discoveries, but also Chinese, Arab and so forth.
Tracy Evans
Nov 24, 2012 is currently reading it
Trying to decide if I can build a science curriculum from this series
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic! It is comprehensive and detailed. There is so much good information here. It's listed as for juvenile/middle-grade readers. I think many adults would benefit from reading it. I learned a lot, and I don't consider myself a total ignoramus when it comes to science and history. To be fair, there's plenty in here that I already knew; in fact, the vast majority. But the little details are fascinating, and I think the presentation is wonderful and the information is accurate. I ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was hard to read in the sense I would read it and then a day later forget everything I read.
Although the layout of the pictures and side notes are nice the writing itself is kind of confusing. She usually starts talking about a person at the beginning of the chapter and then goes down a rabbit hole and then goes back to the person I thought we had moved from and then another rabbit hole.
I get that she's trying to put yourself in the peoples shoes by explaining so much about the lansc
Mar 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This series is an absolute favorite at my house. My two kids & I started reading these together when they were in elementary school (I knew some stuff would need to be re-read at an older age to get the full benefit of), and my oldest is still enjoying them in middle school. They could easily be beneficial for high school and college age students. I would have enjoyed them on my own, a middle-aged adult, without having kids to read them with. This is the mark of a great "story teller," in the ag ...more
David Hillman
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good stories. I should finish it.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Let me start by saying, we LOVED The History of US series. It was written in an amazingly engaging way, so that when my boys got to high school, they entered LOVING history, but once they began their correspondence program with the standard history texts found in public school classrooms and realized how the rest of the world learns history, they were sorely disappointed.

Having said that, The Story of Science had a different flavor to me. It was truly informative and well written, but not at all
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Although this book was written for elementary and middle school students I learned a lot from reading it. I knew very little about the ancient history of math and science. The story is fascinating. I was amazed by how much ancient thinkers were able to understand about the world and the universe with such rudimentary technology. The amount of knowledge lost throughout various time periods was so tragic. I had hoped that it would read more like a narrative but it is structured like a text book. H ...more
Rebecca Angel Maxwell
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love this series! I highly recommend it for junior high and up. It is a wonderful way to look at history from the scientific angle. And a great way to learn about science by progressing with the people who figured things out! My friend who teaches college physics has a copy of this series for her students, and encourages them to read it for further understanding and mastery of their practical applications of science.

A way to bring science as a story about people and the times they lived! Inspiri
Megan Eckhart
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It has been years since I have read any sort of science nonfiction book, and I am glad I chose this one to re-introduce myself to the genre. It is written to a middle school level, and includes a TON of pictures, which makes the subject more engaging. Although it does not go too in depth with any particular topic, it is an overview from the Ancients up through the Middle Ages, I was able to jot down several tangents I want to pursue further. I will definitely read the other Joy Hakim Story of Sc ...more
Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is a rare treasure in the history of science books written for children. I think every child should read it! Gifted children can read is as early as 6-7 years of age. It is a story of science throughout the history of mankind. Illustrations are perfect, language is academic and engaging at the same time. The best book for children about the history of science I ever saw. There are 3 books, this one is the first.
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
For my homeschooling friends looking for a good science book to read with your children, this one is my favorite. This book has fabulous photographs and illustrations, interesting text, and is well organized. History, math, science, philosophy, and art are all included. It can be used as a jumping off point for disicussions, and you can easily add math to go along with the concepts that are handled in the book. This is the first of three books. Recommend it highly for 11-15 year olds.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-books-read
Another great work by Hakim except this time on science. Science concepts are explained in the context of studying the people behind the inventions and discoveries. It is the history of science. It is interesting and fascinating. A wonderful way to learn science and make it personal by putting faces to the facts.
A great, but very information dense, read. If you're at all interested in science & how we know what we know, this book is well worth reading. You might find you need to take it in small doses though, or all the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, etc. start to blend. Still, fascinating!!! ...more
Apr 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
This is a pretty amazing book! I'm loving it... BUT it will have to wait for a few more years... its too meaty and dense for Luke at this stage....

We'll choose another living science book for our morning basket time....
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah Welton-Lair
Shelves: science
I love Joy Hakim's Story of US series. This series follows in the same vein, providing a thorough coverage of the history of science from ancient times to the present, coupled with an engagingly conversational and lighthearted narrative.
Beth Hudson
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
See "Newton at the Center"
Emily Farrar
Apr 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: school-reading
I like the book, It's good, I guess.
Aug 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
reading for Newton's Universe

didn't finish, but got a good taste. love Hakim's style.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
Listing and describing in child friendly terms all the history of science starting with the greeks and aristotle, explaining the math, scientific break throughs and history that affected science.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
The content was very good, but the setting/layout of the book was rather boring and old-fashioned(?).
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
The book offers a unique scientific historical perspective. I give it 3 stars because both my son and I both found the amount of sidebars excessive and distracting.
Krista Ivy
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
a look at the development of math and science throughout the ages. told in a historical fashion and easy to digest. maybe doesn't need so many word definitions, but otherwise good.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a textbook for my homeschool. It was okay, and it did have SOME facts that interested me, but overall it just wasn't that great. The blocks of info around the main text was sort of distracting, sometimes saying things that I didn't feel were entirely relevant. Hakim's writing style didn't engage me at all, but I knew I couldn't complain because it could have been a lot worse. Some "facts" felt super speculative to me, and I was like "How on earth does she know this???". Which bring ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good! A fantastic summery of ancient history as it relates to math and science and the book is full of additional pictures, anecdotes, and side summaries that support and enhance the main storyline. The book is visually beautiful and the connections Hakim makes between famous events, famous places, and famous people are fascinating. Looking at history through a math-and-science lens is a not a typical view and the nuances of understanding one gets through this book are valuable.
Erin Tran
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds, hs-lit
We reached the end of this wonderful book today, and my student was so upset... until I told him there's a sequel.
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I've just updated A HISTORY OF US to include some new stories, especially those on people who haven't had their full story told, like Native Americans and African Americans. I've been astounded by some of what I've learned, I think you will be too.

My husband and I live most of the year in Colorado. I grew up in Rutland, Vermont and graduated from Rutland High School. I earned a bachelor's degree

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