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