Parents' Guide to

George's Secret Key to the Universe

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Stephen Hawking tale confuses fact and fiction.

George's Secret Key to the Universe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 5+

Amazing book!

its an amazing book for young scientists and people that are interested in space!
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Stephen Hawking may be a genius at physics, but he has a lot to learn about children's books. GEORGE'S SECRET KEY TO THE UNIVERSE is an example of what you get when someone decides to write for children because, after all, how hard can it be? It also exemplifies the dangers of trying to combine teaching with storytelling: What you often end up with is a preachy, didactic story told in a condescending tone with stereotypical characters and a plot that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

The nonfiction parts are fine: good information, clearly told, with some spectacular photos. But surprisingly, much of the fictional story isn't scientifically accurate. This might be forgivable in straight sci-fi or fantasy (though even there kids like to have things make sense), but in a book that purports to teach the basics of astronomy and physics, it's just confusing -- how are young readers to know what's true, what's theoretical, and what's just plain nonsense?

Book Details

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