Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids
His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities
Chicago Review Press, July 1, 2009
144 pages, ages 9 and up
Isaac Newton was as strange as he was intelligent. In a few short years, he made astounding discoveries in physics, astronomy, optics, and mathematics— yet never told a soul. Though isolated, snobbish, and jealous, he almost single-handedly changed the course of scientific advancement and ushered in the Enlightenment. Newton invented the refracting telescope, explained the motion of planets and comets, discovered the multicolored nature of light, and created an entirely new field of mathematical understanding: calculus. The world might have been a very different place had Newton’s theories and observations not been coaxed out of him by his colleagues.
Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids paints a rich portrait of this brilliant and complex man, including 21 hands-on projects that explore the scientific concepts Newton developed and the times in which he lived. Readers will build a simple waterwheel, create a 17thcentury plague mask, track the phases of the moon, and test Newton’s Three Laws of Motion using coins, a skateboard, and a model boat they construct themselves. The text includes a time line, online resources, and reading list for further study. And through it all, readers will learn how the son of a Woolsthorpe sheep farmer grew to become the most influential physicist in history.
Honors and Recognition
Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” for 2010
NSTA Recommended Book
“This book, aimed at 9+ readers, is about a man, his physics, and activities—brought together to provide a lot of science fun. It starts with a timeline of Newton’s life, establishing the theme that biography, science, and historical changes are all connected. This is an ideal way to begin to discuss science in the context of society.” (National Science Teachers Association)
“This will be a handy supplement to a physics curriculum and would be a useful selection for school and public libraries. (School Library Journal)
“Hollihan introduces readers to the scientific brilliance, as well as the social isolation, of this giant figure, blending a readable narrative with an attractive format that incorporates maps, diagrams, historical photographs, and physics activities.” (Booklist)
“Sanitized, sculpted, and politically correct stories of human luminaries are typically fed to schoolchildren. Author Kerrie Logan Hollihan, however, offers middle-grade readers a refreshing and comprehensive look at the man touted as the greatest scientist who ever lived.” (BookLoons)