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Stephen Hawking by Anita Croy


The newest offering from the Scientists Who Changed the World series (also including prominent science figures like Sir Isaac Newton and Rachel Carson), this exploration into the work of Stephen Hawking uses straight forward language to provide remarkably in depth information.


Expecting the text to be rudimentary in its approach based upon the heavy use of images and a general intermediate level feel to the language, there was a very pleasant surprise to see how intellectual and yet so accessible the text is. The information is presented logically and with pace meaning that even younger readers won’t become disengaged with the information.


Complete with diagrams, timelines, infographics and a few images of the great genius himself, the book is sure to provide the perfect mix for school students (and adults) to better understand the work of Hawking and his associates.


Personal information about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease - provides a lot of context around the struggles that Hawking faced, and that ultimately gave those with the disease a hero to aspire towards. The technology that allowed Hawking to speak and write international bestselling books (such as A Brief History of Time which sold over 20 million copies) is phenomenal in its achievement alone. Let alone the contribution to physics that Hawking gave.


Of the scientists in recent history who have become household names, surely Hawking is at the top of the list. His wheelchair and disability seemed to accentuate his intellectual prowess rather than inhibit his ability to contribute. Hawking’s numerous cameos on The Big Bang Theory surely helped with his popularity with young people also.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

Penguin, RRP $24.99