November 16, 2012

Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities
by Kerrie Logan Hollihan

When it comes to physicists, the names that most often come to mind are Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie. Newton is especially honored for his work in astronomy, optics, gravity, mathematics, and chemistry. This detailed and thorough biography traces Newton's life from his boyhood in Woolsthorpe to his death in London. Much attention is given to his studies at Cambridge University and his relationships with such well-known personages like Robert Hooke, Samuel Pepys, and John Locke. Along the way, readers will be enveloped in 17th century England, with all its political and religious turmoil.

History buffs should find the book interesting. Others, especially those not interested in psychology and business matters, may find it a bit of a slog. Although the book is marketed for ages 9 and up, the language is geared more to ages 12 and up. However, the activities are interesting, allowing kids to test some of Newton's theories. A few are not physics-related, but they are quite creative. Activities include: making pendulums, growing crystals, testing Newton's laws of motion, making a plague mask, or creating clues in a portrait.

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