I, Galileo

Nonfiction Monday is at Shelf-employed.

I, Galileo

By Bonnie Christensen

Illustrated by author

Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

ISBN #078037586753

Grades 3-5

Nonfiction picture book

“Imagine a world with no clocks, thermometers, or telescopes. A world where everyone believes the earth stands still as the enormous sun travels around it once each day.”

Written in the voice of Galileo Galilei, the famous “father of modern science,” I, Galileo shows the brilliant yet human side of this radical thinker who was considered a heretic and imprisoned at the end of his life. The book traces Galileo’s work with his father to his interest in mathematics rather than medicine, as his father wished, to his studies that revolutionized astronomy.

Over time, people began to distrust Galileo and he went before the Inquisition, well-handled for young readers by Christensen in the lovely narrative text. Initially I was concerned at using first person to tell this story, but Christensen’s voice as Galileo’s manages to convey the information while keeping it authentic but readable for this age.

Back matter includes an afterward, chronology, Galileo’s experiments, inventions, and discoveries, along with a glossary, bibliography, and websites.

This is a wonderful book toread to introduce science to elementary aged readers and provides an insight into a world long past. It would be a good way to introduce standing up for your beliefs as well as promoting interest in science. This book is one that should be in every library.

Activity 1

Choose an invention or experiment and look it up to learn more about that invention. You may have to look up the individual inventions as you research.

Activity 2

Read about the phases of the moon and draw and label each phase.

This site has good information and diagrams.

This site gives some general information about Galileo.

This site has background on Galileo.

National science standards: forces and motion; influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world

Book provided by publisher for Librarians’ Choices Committee

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4 Responses to I, Galileo

  1. I’ve read this one. I, too, recommend it. Thanks for participating in today’s Nonfiction Monday roundup. Lisa

  2. Zoe says:

    THe front cover looks quite magical.

  3. [...] Shirley at Simply Science offers us a review of I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen [...]

  4. Zoe says:

    Hi Shirley, I’ll add this to my post on the stem friday blog when my post there goes live tomorrow :)

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