Enter the world of science as Bill Bryson unmasks the mysteries of the universe.
Did you know that:
• Every atom in your body has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to being you?
• If you are an average-sized kid, you have enough potential energy inside you to explode with the force of several hydrogen bombs?
And—What happened to dinosaurs? How big is the universe? Why are oceans salty? Is a meteor going to hit us?
Tackling everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bill Bryson’s inimitable storytelling skill makes the why, how, and, just as importantly, the who of scientific discovery entertaining and accessible for young readers.
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Bill Bryson is the author of numerous adult bestsellers in the nonfiction genre. He lives in England.From Booklist:
Bryson offers a kid-friendly version of his popular-science compendium for adults, A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003), in this illustrated trip through, well, nearly everything. His enthusiasm is apparent right from the foreword, where he proclaims that “there isn’t anything in existence—not a thing—that isn’t amazing and interesting when you look into it.” He proceeds to back up this statement as he whirls through mind-numbing notions such as the creation of the universe and the life-span of an atom with good cheer and accessible, even exciting, writing. The two-page spreads meander their way through the various recesses of science with a combination of explanatory prose, historical anecdotes, wry asides, and illustrations that range from helpful to comical. Absent are source notes to back up Bryson’s many claims (or any other back matter aside from an index, photo credits, and a list of Bryson’s adult books). That isn’t to say he shouldn’t be trusted, but readers should take this for what it is: irreverent and illuminating edutainment, good for the science-phobic and -centric alike. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman
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