Book Review: Atomic Universe

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Also in This Series

• Double Helix
• Killing Germs, Saving Lives
• An Invisible Force

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This is one of a series of ScienceQuest books for young readers. The focus of this book is on efforts to discover radioactivity.

The book isn't much more than a science-specific biography of Marie Curie. She is the main character, with focuses on her pursuit of X-rays and her equally famous family. Fellow scientist Henri Becquerel gets a mention as well, but the book seems a bit scattered when it's not focusing on Marie Curie.

Another point of concern is the timeline. As with other National Geographic books of this type, this one includes a helpful timeline, to place the important events in the book in a more historical context. However, some of the events in the timeline have absolutely nothing to do with the book, its subject, or its principal people. Rather than grounding the student in the events of the period, this serves to distract through incongruity.

The illustrations are top-notch, of course, but that's like saying that the Sun sets in the west.

Overall, this is a good book. It tries, however, to sell itself as more than it is.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White