Weeeeeeeee this book was so fun! Like, I’m really excited to buy it for myself AND for my nephew Josh. I kind of stumbled across this book on accident. I was at the library looking in the kid’s section for the A Series of Unfortunate Events books and this one caught my eye on the shelf. It’s about the universe, and it’s a kid’s story, and it’s written by Stephen Hawking and his daughter! Obviously I had to check it out.
George’s Secret Key to the Universe is about George, a young kid who is fascinated by the stars in the sky and wants nothing more than a computer, which his technology-resistant parents refuse to buy him. One day chasing his pet pig, he discovers that the long-abandoned house next door has people living in it! A young girl with a penchant for playing dress-up named Annie lives there with her dad Eric, who is a scientist, have moved in. Eric and Annie let George in on a secret and show him their super-special computer, Cosmos. Cosmos is the most advanced computer there is and can show them the wonders of the universe – literally. George has plenty of adventures travelling in space ahead of him – but someone else has more evil plans for Cosmos, and it’s up to George to save the day.
Okay so even without the super-nerdy stuff that I enjoyed, like explanations of how stars are born, what asteroids are made out of, and so on – this is a really fun kids book. There was a creepy, maniacal bad guy and bullies and a science contest and a growing friendship between George and Annie and a wonder computer and it was actually really exciting and action-packed! PLUS there are cool little inserts throughout the book that explain some of the science terms and there are several sections of color photos!
After finishing the book, I was really happy and realized that I definitely have to buy this for my nephew – he’s 8 and really into space, and I think that this will be a interesting book for him; some of it might be a little over his head, but plenty of Amazon reviewers said their 9-year olds enjoyed it, so it should be fine. He’ll enjoy the story, even if he can’t wrap his head around the idea of a black hole just yet.
I was thinking “Man, I hope that the Hawkings write a sequel…” Well, it turns out there are two sequels already! I’m planning to buy all three books for myself to read and keep, and I think I’m going to buy the first book for my nephew for next Christmas Too bad his birthday just passed! And I’m hoping that when my other niece and nephew get older, they’ll enjoy these books too.
Anyways, this is a really cute, fun story that has the added bonus of sneaking some learning in. I HIGHLY recommend it! Seriously, if you have kids around 9-12 who like to read, get this for them even if you think that they aren’t into space. They just might be after they travel around the universe with George for a bit.
Sarah Says: 5 stars