At blen we are interested in children's understanding of scientific language as well as their use of ordinary words use in a scientific context.
In 2007, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy Hawking wrote and released George's Secret Key to the Universe— the first of a series of children’s books that explains aspects of outer space in a way that is accessible to kids.
Below are reviews of George’s Secret Key to the Universe and George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt (2010) which is one of the follow-up books in the Hawkings’ series. The reviews were written by 8-year-old Summer Andrew and her brother 10-year-old Felix Andrew respectively. Both pupils attend Weston Park Primary School.
George’s Secret Key to the Universe
Review by Summer Andrew
Presentation & Design
I like the presentation of the white pages that tell you about the different planets of our solar system every now and again. I also like the design of the front cover because it’s vivid and realistic.
The language in this book is good because it wasn’t too hard or too easy and
I could work out what the words meant, just by reading the sentence.
This book didn’t have a main content or plot, but I like the various twists and turns, whether
talking computers, flying to space or even entering a science competition just to get a computer of his own — whatever it is, George is always prepared.
What have I learned?
I have learned about space, other solar systems, galaxies and the Milky Way. This is due to the thick pages that are non-fiction and tell you about space.
Would I recommend this book to a friend?
I would recommend this book to anyone who is either interested in sci-fi, outer space, rockets, technical computers or maybe even about pigs!
I would like to make a comment on the age recommendation, which is for age 9 and up, because I think that 8 and 7 year olds are also capable of reading this book.
George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt
Review by Felix Andrew
I liked the presentation of the book because you would get a chunk of the story then you would get a page or two about a specific space matter such as manned space flight (p130). Also, throughout the book there are chunks of ‘picture files’. I like these because you can actually see the settings that the characters are in. The last special feature about this book is ‘The User’s Guide to the Universe.’ I like this because every page answers a question you might ask.
I thought that the content was very interesting and had an intriguing storyline and makes you want to know what happens next.
I learned a lot from this book: whether it’s that there are endless possibilities in space or a whole new coding language, this book tells you a lot of information and you are guaranteed to learn something new from reading it.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone 8+ who is into science fiction, rockets or even talking computers, because it includes all of them.