The Gravity Tree: The True Story of a Tree That Inspired the World

Harper. May 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062967367.
PreS-Gr 3–This nonfiction picture book tells the story of the tree Isaac Newton observed, which inspired his scientific discovery of universal gravity. After Newton’s observations made the tree living history, it became known as the Gravity Tree. People from near and far flocked to the tree just to sit under it, to eat one of its apples. In 1820, a storm threatened to destroy the Gravity Tree, severely splintering it. Luckily, the tree was still alive and new roots formed, allowing the tree to continue to grow. In 1930, Albert Einstein visited the tree on his way to deliver a lecture about his ideas which were built on Newton’s discoveries. Physicist Stephen Hawking, whose work studying black holes and gravity hearkens back to Newton, visited the tree in 1987, and in 2010 a sliver of the tree was released aboard the International Space Station. The Gravity Tree continues to thrive and new gravity trees have been created by expert gardeners planting seeds from its apples. In lyrical storytelling, award-winning investigative reporter Redding imparts the message that small, ordinary things can change the world with the aim of inspiring children to recognize that they have the potential to influence the world. Back matter includes information about the Gravity Tree; brief biographies of Newton, Einstein, and Hawking; a bibliography; and a time line. The expressive artwork supports the text and the book’s potential to work well as a read-aloud title.
VERDICT Where science meets history, inspiration grows; recommended purchase for all collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing