Fun Science: A Guide to Life, the Universe and Why Science Is So Awesome

Book review by
Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media
Fun Science: A Guide to Life, the Universe and Why Science Is So Awesome Book Poster Image
YouTube superstar makes learning about the cosmos fun.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

There's not a page in Fun Science that doesn't have something for readers to learn, be it serious science (the anatomy of a cell) or a fun fact (the scientists who discovered cosmic background radiation initially thought it was pigeon poop).

Positive Messages

Learning about science can be an unfolding adventure filled with laughter and surprises.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Charlie McDonnell's passion for science is contagious. He's made it cool for the digital generation to be science fans.  



The section on reproduction focuses on the egg and sperm (but not how they eventually meet), and there are brief discussions of animals who are "sexually flexible" and "when it comes to sex, nature will try just about anything."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fun Science: A Guide To Life, The Universe, And Why Science Is So Awesome is not by a scientist but rather by 26-year-old British internet sensation, Charlie McDonnell. His YouTube channel, Charlieissocoollike, has more than 2.4 million subscribers, and the book is based on his popular web series, "Fun Science." McDonnell's delight in all things scientific is evident as he takes readers on a fast-paced journey through the cosmos, explaining everything from the Big Bang, the solar system, and the human body to the end of time. Younger readers without a solid foundation in science could find the subject matter challenging.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byApril R. October 25, 2017

for reluctant reader

my son loves non-fiction and found this book to be very interesting and engaging.

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What's the story?

FUN SCIENCE is just that, 10 chapters that cover the Universe, Solar System, Earth, Life, Body, Brain, Cell, Elements, Particle, and End of Time in short and witty sections featuring quirky hand-drawn illustrations, randomly colored pages, and McDonnell's favorite fun facts. 

Is it any good?

Readers will enjoy this offbeat, sometimes zany tour of the universe written for the internet generation by YouTube superstar and passionate science fan, Charlie McDonnell. Subjects that might seem overwhelming (the evolution of the brain or dark matter) are presented in ways that try to ease readers' fears and make them eager to learn more. But the sheer volume of material covered in the book could be challenging for readers (even teens) without a basic science vocabulary.

Some readers may find the book's design -- pages that can incorporate illustrations with two or three fonts in radically different sizes -- a visual jumble and difficult to decipher.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how science is treated in Fun Science. Can learning about science really be fun? Why so many students are intimidated by science classes?

  • Have you watched any of McDonnell's "Fun Science" web videos? Do you think videos like these could help teach science in schools?

  • Which of McDonnell's "fun facts" surprised you the most?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science

Themes & Topics

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