- Published: 21 January 2020
- ISBN: 9780241418864
- RRP: $26.99
Stephen Hawking was arguably the world’s most respected scientist and certainly one of the iconic figures of our lifetime. What a loss to us his brilliant mind was – and further, what an absolute inspiration to any who followed his career.
Curated by his equally brilliant daughter Lucy this is a collection of essays which will take readers on an exploration of the universe from its beginning through the marvellous advances made in space exploration and travel and more. Readers of a scientific bent will thoroughly enjoy this especially as it combines both amazing facts and stunning colour photographs.
Particularly if, like us, you have a Science component to your ‘at home’ learning you will find this a wonderful addition for readers from middle primary to middle secondary who are investigating space. It certainly is on our agenda and this one will stay at home a while to cater for this.
Despite it’s scientific content the essays are written in a very accessible style and the many topics investigated which range from the physical explanations of the universe to earth science to robotics and future predictions.
Highly recommended for curious minds from around 10 years upwards.
Harper Collins Australia
ISBN 10: 0008333785
Imprint: HarperCollins – GB
List Price: 14.99 AUD
This is the second Ross Welford book I have read and reviewed [The 1, 000 Year Old Boy] and once again I am tremendously impressed in his story-telling which takes something unbelievable and makes it completely feasible.
A small village in Northumberland is shocked and in turmoil after the mysterious disappearance of 12 year old Tammy especially of course her parents and her twin brother Ethan. Despite vigorous and thorough searching there seem to be no clues. That is until Ethan reluctantly accompanies relative newcomer and definitely odd Iggy for a spot of fishing to ‘take his mind off’ the situation. The boys don’t have any luck with the fishing but they do ‘catch’ something – the realisation of an invisible spacecraft and the appearance of a definitely visible fur-covered tailed humanoid called Hellyann – who indicates that she not only knows where Tammy is but how to rescue her.
Imagine a civilisation that keeps animals in a zoo for the edification of its own species – oh that’s right – but imagine if that civilisation is located on a remote planet in another galaxy and the animals kept are actually humans. That’s where Tammy has been taken by one of the ‘Hunters’ of the planet Anthalla. This race has become so uniform and so controlled in its past 500 years of history that no member of it dares to disagree with any of the strict protocols in place. There may be order and peace but it’s at a price – with no individuality or emotions allowed. The flaw in that is that there are just a few Anthallans whose ancestors were of ‘mixed’ DNA so that their descendants retain some human traits – such as emotional responses. And Hellyann is one of these ‘Hearters’ and knows that there is something inherently wrong with abducting a human, removing it from its family and keeping it sedated and contained. Hence she sets out on a mission to rescue Tammy but enlisting Ethan and Iggy.
There is much humour to be had in this narrative but also a great deal of thought-provoking concepts to consider. Once again Welford has crafted a story which demonstrates the unerring ability of children to bridge the sometimes vast gap between others and forge unlikely friendships as well as rising to challenges which reveal their inner reserves of determination, resilience, courage and compassion.
Another truly worthwhile book to share with your readers from around 8ish upwards, I highly recommend it for Middle Primary to Lower Secondary students.
ISBN 10: 1460757742
Imprint: HarperCollins – AU
RRP 16.99 AUD
In our library we marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landing before the holidays and I was quite taken aback to find that not only did we not have a copy of this 2005 winner of the Eve Pownall Award but that no one was even familiar with it. So I was doubly thrilled to have the opportunity to review this new revised edition which of course has been re-issued to time with the occasion.
For many Australians the movie The Dish is the extent of their acquaintance with the work of our intrepid pioneer boffins and the part they played in the Apollo 11 mission. However The Dish is fictional and Bryan’s recount of the work at Honeysuckle Creek is written from his own experience and that of his colleagues. Long before the technology tsunami swept the world up, a few dedicated geeks were paving the way for what would become the normality of today’s society.
Bryan affords us insight into his early interest in computer science from his first encounter with a computer in 1958 through the construction of the (then) advanced and ambitious station at Honeysuckle Creek and the ensuing work of all those involved.
Interspersed with Bryan’s narrative the reader will find many fascinating facts about space, the race to the moon, astronauts and of course the question that every kid asks any time this topic arises – how do you go to the toilet in space? *grin*
These were the largely unsung heroes of the Apollo mission/s and it was this that prompted Jackie and Bryan to produce the book originally. Thus it is timely at this point in time to inform another generation of readers that the space missions were not all about the USA and Russia: that a little but significant base in a dusty bush setting near Canberra played not only a valuable but an essential role in the first moon landing.
If your library is also lacking this marvellous book, you should rectify that immediately. With the impetus of the anniversary you will be sure to have many young readers who may also set their eyes, as well as their dreams, on the universe.
I’ve twice had the pleasure of visiting Jackie and Bryan at their beautiful property. Jackie’s graciousness is well known but rest assured that Bryan is equally gracious and very unassuming about the important role in history he played.
Highly recommended for readers from ten years upwards – grab your copy NOW!