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Ernest Rutherford: Just An Ordinary Boy by Maria Gill


Young Ernest Rutherford is a curious child. He likes pulling clocks apart to see how they tick. Counts how far away lightning strikes in storms, and fires a cannon to see where it lands. He longs to go onto further study to answer the big questions that crowd his head. To fulfill that dream, he must compete against New Zealand's brightest for scholarships. Despite setbacks and failures, he never gives up. His determination and perseverance sees him become one of the world's most famous scientists.


Author Maria Gill has plenty of experience under her belt, having written more than 60 books for children, teachers and the education sector. Gill is the right one to tackle Rutherford's story in this inspiring and educational picture book, perfectly pitched for primary school. Gill follows Rutherford from birth through to his death at age 66, showing his grit, determination, hardships and failures. The story itself isn't too technical, with Gill focusing more on the importance of determination and following your dreams. However, a timeline, glossary and further information about his experiments will inspire younger readers keen to know more and to take a deeper dive into Rutherford's world.


Rutherford's story is vividly brought to life by illustrator Alistair Hughes who masterfully paints a picture of the era Rutherford grew up in.


Ernest Rutherford: Just An Ordinary Boy is a story about our country's most famous scientist, his humble beginnings and the importance of not giving up on your dreams. Gill has once again crafted an essential resource that is both entertaining and educational.


Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell

Upstart Press

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