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A Really Short History of Nearly Everything (Young Adult)
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A Really Short History of Nearly Everything (Young Adult)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,138 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Bill Bryson’s own fascination with science began with a battered old school book he had when he was about ten or eleven years old. It had an illustration that captivated him–a diagram showing Earth’s interior as it would look if you cut into it with a large knife and removed about a quarter of its bulk. The idea of lots of startled cars and people falling off the edge of t ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Doubleday Canada (first published February 4th 2003)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  2,138 ratings  ·  118 reviews


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Santhosh
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book primarily because the completeist in me wanted to tick one off in completing the Bill Bryson set of books (I have one more to go). I was aware that this is an abridged, illustrated and watered down version of A Short History of Nearly Everything, targeted at a younger audience. However, I was delighted to find that, apart from standing by itself as a nice little general science introduction book, this more colourful version is also like a nice little summary to the meatier or ...more
Shaun
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Started reading this one with "the lads" after finishing "The Littlest Prince" in late August of last year. We read about two or three of the short articles regarding some unique aspect of the history and development of our civilization, planet, solar system, galaxy and universe. We generally read this book once or twice a week just before their bedtime to keep their awesome, developing minds focused on the wonders found in the world of science and discovery. It is a great balance to the Bible a ...more
Raisu
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Couple of years ago I realized I know hardly anything about sciences, natural history and the like. Most of what I learned in high school, I'd forgotten. But no prob, thought I, isn't that what books are for? Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" seemed perfect, but when I started reading that, it soon turned out it wasn't quite simple enough for my poor little brain. So when the YA version caught my eye, I jumped to the chance to learn stuff about nearly everything again.

It turn
...more
Rupanwita
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really short and interesting with a lot of pictures and easy tone - though meant for kids, works well for a coffee table book for curious adults as well.
Jill Weiner
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family-book-club
We picked this for family book club but ended up not finishing it. It's a bunch of short writings on different topics (how the universe formed, how we know the weight of the earth, etc.) as opposed to a more connected explanation of how we came to be. I find it difficult to stick with a book when every 2 pages it feels as if you're starting something new. This seems to be the structure for a lot of middle grade/ YA non-fiction and I would love to find some (besides biographies) that explore a to ...more
Alastair Hudson
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
The "Grown-Ups" version is one of my favourite non-fiction books, so reading the children's version to my 6 and 8 year olds as bedtime reading was a no-brainer. Everyone needs more understanding of the world around us and the history of science is sadly neglected in our schools ('much more important than the history of monarchs).

This was a challenging bedtime read. It was difficult getting them to concentrate on ideas that were new, overwhelming and difficult to grasp at the end of a day. Time p
...more
Steven Gilbert
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The kids version of what is my favorite non-fiction book of all time.
Marlene
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This was good, but better called "A Really Short History of Modern Science."
Thomas Ray
A little of everything, not much; not very thoughtfully done.
Florence
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book, A Really Short History of Nearly Everything, is exactly how the title describes it. From microbes, bacteria, and viruses all the way to Earth’s age! Inside it explains prehistoric animals, measuring Earth, the Earth’s age, supernovae, many famous scientists... and so much more. Not only science, but math and history as well!
In my opinion this book is a great read for all ages. You are never too young or too old to learn something new! It shows many great pictures, drawings, and diagr
...more
Felicia
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book took me SO long to finish. Honestly, I started it the last week or so of July and finished it the last week of September. Nonfiction has always been hard for me and is generally a genre I stay away from. This book was nice but definitely not my favorite.

I loved the way it was written. Bryson’s writing is witty and entertaining but he still packs tons of information into relatively small paragraphs. The book was also not what I expected. I thought it would be more about historical event
...more
Kendall
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love this kids' version of the book--it covers most of what we teach in sixth grade social studies and science all in one book! It's kind of like a human primer. I think everyone should read it..and I also think it should serve as a textbook in middle school social studies classes.
Janhavi.dave
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
All kids must read this book...
Queen
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for children and adults alike. It’s very succinct and complete.
Nayeli
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read the original book more than 10 years ago (A Short History of Nearly Everything), since then I've praised it endlessly and often referred to it as one of my favorite books. I was amused to find this "really short" version of it, and it's super-super-abridged (I mean, the original is 500+ pages and this one is less than 200 and with pictures) but it's still packed with lots of useful and interesting information and it really does cover nearly everything, from the beginning of the universe u ...more
blank
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: real, in-eng, faves
The power this book holds with all the information, dang.

I wish the books they used at school were as great and interesting but nah. I'm not even a kid anymore I guess but still found the book great. Why do textbooks always need to be so dull? Can't they all be like this? This makes one actually learn without it feeling like a chore.

Seriously speaking, though, if every kid read this they could pretty much just skip all science classes until high school.
Kyrie
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I was hoping for something for a slightly more mature reader, but this one was interesting. I think it'd be a really great addition to a primary school science curriculum, especially if an adult was reading it aloud and making comments. It would be a good jumping off point to delve deeper into things that might interest the child.
Timeo Williams
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this as a complement to Bryson's A Short History on Everything. And I enjoyed. I really enjoyed it.

It was condensed, but follows the same outline as the former book, and the illustrations accompanying the material was also nice. Bryson's sense of humor is charming as always.

SUBRATA DATTA
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A wonderful introduction to the world of science written in a language that is funny and erudite both at the same time.
The childish sketches accompanying the text, however, are not particularly appealing and could well have been avoided.
A good, enjoyable read.
Katoptris
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Have you ever wondered HOW we know what we know in science and history? Sure, we know gravity keeps us down. But how did we figure that out? Bill Bryson takes science and history and adds a touch of swagger and fun to keep readers interested while learning some cool facts.
Louise Truter
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this to my young niece and nephew when they visited recently. They loved it. Coming of age stories are their favourite and this fitted the bill - though not exactly. Nice writing, and interesting characters, and a tongue-in-cheek attitude from the author all the way through.
Brian Napier
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has been one of my favorites for a very long time. I really enjoy understanding how things work and coupled with Bill Bryson's beautiful way with words resulted with an amazing read. I enjoyed it so much I didn't want to finish it!
Katie
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-children-s
Very interesting and pretty thorough, especially for a YA information encyclopedia-type book. I would like to read the adult version some day!
Bruce
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great primer on . . . everything!
Muhammad Nawawy Arasy Padil
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Every living thing is an elaboration on a single original plan.
All life is one.
Alyssa
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Super easy to understand, love the pictures and how great it portrays evolution!
Ann Uzhovska
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
kind complicated and overwhelming, but fun
Dane Divine
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book.
Rob Baker
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites.
Joseph Delcourt
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
disappointing
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William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, FRS was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.

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