On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne


NF PB 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

on a beam

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein
Author: Jennifer Berne
Illustrator: Vladimir Radunsky
Published April 23rd, 2013 by Chronicle Books

Summary: Albert wasn’t like other children. He didn’t speak; he thought. He didn’t play with others; he was fascinated with everything around him. But it is all of this curiosity that led to his revolutionary ideas.

Review: I love how this book focuses on how Albert’s creativity is one of the keys to what made him the amazing scientist that he is. Also, as a teacher of struggling and gifted students, I love the focus on how he didn’t do well in school. It shows how just because a student is different or a disturbance or thinks differently doesn’t mean that they aren’t intelligent. The book definitely promotes wonderings, thinking, and imagination!

I also loved learning about the fun side of Einstein and how he likes to not wear socks, he liked to eat ice cream cones, and overall he just did what he want to have time to think.

Finally, the Author’s Note puts all of Einstein’s theories together so that the reader also gets this information.

Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: This book is perfect for a read aloud to promote creativity and intelligence. It also has a direct connection to science since it is about Albert Einstein. It would be a great discussion starter for an elementary classroom and is also a great jumping off point for discussing the basic Einstein theories.

Discussion Questions: After knowing about Albert’s experiences in school, what would you go back and tell Albert’s teachers? What does his experience and then who he became tell us about behavior, students, and teachers?; Albert said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” What parts of this book supports this quote?

We Flagged: “Albert started asking questions. Questions at home. Questions at school. So many questions taht some of his teachers told him he was a disruption to his class. They said he would never amount to anything unless he learned to behave like the other students. But Albert didn’t want to be like other students. He wanted to discover the hidden mysteries in the world.” (p. 14-15)

To see a preview of the illustrations, visit Amazon’s “Look Inside” for On a Beam of Light.

Read This If You Loved: Odd Boy Out by Don Brown, Who Was Albert Einstein? by Jess M. Brallier, Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell, Jim Henson by Kathleen Krull, A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson

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