Stay Curious!: A Brief History of Stephen Hawking

Crown. Sept. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399550287.
K-Gr 4–A stargazer from childhood, Stephen Hawking built a rudimentary computer with some friends before he entered Oxford University at age 17. Diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 21 and told he had only a few years left, he defied the odds and lived until the age of 76. As he gradually lost physical mobility and the use of his voice, he remained intellectually curious and driven, determined to share his ideas. His surprising best seller, A Brief History of Time, brought him worldwide attention. Krull and Brewer also provide glimpses into Hawking’s personal life as well as snapshots of his self-deprecating humor and his love of celebrations and adventures, including experiencing weightlessness at the Kennedy Space Center. Kulikov’s illustrations feature recurring motifs of expansive night skies and black holes. In the most poignant spread, Hawking stares at a phonograph record on a turntable as he sinks into depression, having been told he had only two years to live. Most people and scenery appear as tan shapes in contrast to the full-color images of Hawking. Pair this book with Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, written by Krull and Brewer and illustrated by Frank Morrison.
VERDICT A fine choice for STEM and picture book biography collections.

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