Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sometimes Name Recognition Works

I have to admit that I don't have a lot of interest in Albert Einstein. I picked up Albert Einstein when I saw it at the library because I recognized the author, Kathleen Krull's, name. I remember her picture book Fartiste, and I liked what I thought was the novelty of her book Lincoln Tells a Joke. Plus, I believe Kathleen is a Facebook friend. My point being, that name is definitely filed away in my mind, and when I saw it on a book cover, the metaphorical equivalent of a bell rang.

I found Albert Einstein, part of Krull's Giants of Science series, to be a very readable book. Seriously, on a couple of occasions I looked forward to going back to this book over some other ones I was reading at the time. The text seemed as if it could have come from one of those well done magazine profiles that often grab me.

I can't say that I have a better understanding of what Einstein actually did, though I think I do have a grasp of his process. I have a much better understanding of the significance of his work in the bigger scheme of things. I am left, after reading Albert Einstein, not liking him very much. That was an interesting aspect of this book. I felt that Krull put out details of Einstein's personal life (his treatment of the women in his life, for instance) without making any value judgments, herself. I, however, felt free to do so. I also felt she did a good job of placing him within his time period and showing historical events' impact upon him. In one case, in particular, she showed the impact he appears to have had on a historical event.

This book includes a list of sources, but no citations in the text. I am seeing this in nonfiction books for adults, as well as children, and don't know what the significance is. The absence of citations wouldn't keep me from encouraging a young person to read the book.

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