They Changed the World: Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo by Rick Hoskin, illustrated by Naresh Kumar. Campfire, 2019. 9789381182963
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? I like that this collective biography shows a progression through time in the scientific thinking around earth’s place in the universe. Beginning with the Greeks, and moving forward in time through Copernicus, Bruno and Galileo, the book shows how these scientists made their observations and calculations, using the existing technology. It also shows the perils of upsetting prevailing religious views, as Copernicus was accused of blasphemy, Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy, and Galileo spent his last few years under house arrest. All because the Catholic Church would not accept a theory that the earth is not at the center of the solar system. Other lesser known scientists are also given mention. Back matter includes a section on Indian astronomers and space exploration, information on planet naming, and more. Detailed realistic illustrations do a good job of placing the subject in time, showing architecture, interiors and clothing accurately. The book offers a good overview of how scientific thinking progressed, even if the Church did not!
Anything you didn’t like about it?
To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 12 and up, who like graphic non fiction.
Who should buy this book? Middle school and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it ? 520 or 920
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: December 21, 2019