Review: Flashes of Genius Series

Today I have for you four books in the Flashes of Genius Series by Luca Novelli. They are Darwin and the True Story of Dinosaurs, Einstein and the Time Machine, Leonardo da Vinci and the Pen that Drew the Future, and Newton and the Antigravity Formula. 

Quirky, that's what I want to call these four little books.   None of them are very long, between 112-128 pages, making for a quick read, especially since most pages have at least one drawing on them.

Each book follows the life of one famous person from the past, telling their story in the first person, told in a very expressive fashion.   In Darwin's case, he explains that he was accused of saying man comes from monkeys "even though I never said that".

There are numerous pages of facts, delineated by a grey outline around the page.   The print on these pages was smaller than in the rest of the book, making them very easy to discern.  These pages gave facts not otherwise talked about in the rest of the book.  For instance, I learned the Newton "one time, he fixed one ee on the sun until he nearly ruined his eyesight", and in Einstein's book "small amounts of matter can be turned into large amounts of energy".   The facts all differed, but where very interesting.

I have to admit, I am not really sure what I think of these books.  I'm put off by the story in the first person, I find myself wanting to dismiss what it says, and I'm not entirely sure why.  Each book closes with a glossary on the scientist involved, explaining some terms relevant to the topic.  This section also included black and white photos. 

I thoroughly appreciated that Darwin's theory of evolution was indeed presented at a theory, though at other points the book pointed to it being a fact.  Which I don't believe.  Evolution hasn't been completely proven, and should be seen as a theory not a fact. 
Do I think these four books are worth looking at?
Yes.   You can be amused at the line drawings as you learn real facts about the scientists life and the work they engaged in.  There is some solid material in these books and that should not be discarded. 

With Leonardo we learn about how he was the greatest thinker of the Renaissance, he had his hand in so many pies and he kept thinking and learning.
Einstein and how he learned about light and put together his Theory of Relativity.
Newton with his laws of motion, developing calculus and laws about gravity.
Darwin and his theory of evolution and his journey around the world. 

All fascinating topics that every student should learn about.

Four different books (titles below)
Flashes of Genius Series
Luca Novelli
Middle School
112-128 pages each.
Reviewed for: Chicago Review Press

Where can you find them:
Darwin and the True Story of Dinosaurs
Einstein and the Time Machine
Leonardo da Vinci and the Pen that Drew the Future
Newton and the Antigravity Formula 
Darwin and the True Story of Dinosaurs
Einstein and the Time Machine
Leonardo da Vinci and the Pen that Drew the Future
Newton and the Antigravity Formula.

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  1. I often enjoy these types of biographies but I have looked at these before and was not too impressed. Good to get a bit more information about them.

    1. I don't think I would want them for the ONLY approach to the scientist and the topic at hand, but it adds a different perspective that broadens one's horizons.


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