book review

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

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I have to say that several generations of this family have been greatly inspired by Albert Einstein. On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne, Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky is a brilliant work of art and incredible simple, clean and concise storytelling leaving the reader inspired and ready to embrace their own questions to discover the awe and wonder that lay behind them.

beam of light

{click to tweet} “Suddenly he knew there were mysteries in the world-hidden and silent, unknown and unseen.”

From the very beginning Albert was unique. He couldn’t talk until he was 4 years old. When he did start talking he couldn’t stop asking questions. His father gave him a magnet and he wondered why and how it always pointed north. He became fascinated with light and sound, heat, gravity, but most of all numbers. Albert loved numbers. They were like a secret language for him.

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He asked tons of questions and even with all of those questions he kept wondering, so he kept reading and learning to find answers to those questions.

After Albert graduated from college he wanted to teach all of the subjects that fascinated him.  But he couldn’t find a job as a teacher so he worked in a government office instead. Still even as an adult, Albert kept asking questions. Whether watching a lump of sugar dissolving into tea or smoke from his pipe swirl and disappear. Albert kept asking “how does that happen?”

As he continued to think and ask, Albert thought about the idea that every single thing is made of teeny, tiny bits of stuff called atoms.

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He continued to think about atoms which led to him thinking about motion and the idea that everything is always moving. All of these thoughts about movement led him to incredible ideas and thought about time and space.

Albert sent his new found ideas to magazines which would publish and print anything Albert wrote. Soon he was asked to teach. Now, finally everyone thought Albert was a genius. He could spend his days imagining, wondering, figuring, and thinking.

He loved to think in his sailboat. He loved to play violin. He said it helped him think even better.

Did you know that Albert even chose his clothes for thinking ? He even word his shoes without socks. He said now that he was a grown up, no one could tell him he had to wear socks. He loved to walk and wander around, often times while eating an ice cream cone.

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While doing all the things he loved, he tried to figure out the secrets of the universe and that beam of light he rode on a long time ago as a child.

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Albert figured out that NOTHING could move faster than a beam of light.

Until his very last breath “Albert asked questions never asked before. Found answers never found before. And dreamed up ideas never dreamt before.”

His wondering, thinking and imagining helped us understand our universe like no one else has.

This book is a must have for the family library. It’s an incredible biography told in a very artistic and captivating way.

Something to Do

Magnets: Make your own Compass

To always keep yourself pointing north, make your very own compass. Here’s a great one from Steve Spangler.

make your own compass

Nearly everything you wanted to know about Magnets

Here are some really fun and entertaining activities to do with magnets, as well as an overview into the world of magnets.

activities with magnets

Scavenger Hunt

Don’t forget to do a magnet scavenger hunt around the house. Give your children a magnet and have them search all over the house for things the magnet sticks to. Have write or bring those things back to “home base” to see what magnetic items are laying around your house.

Light and Sound

Enjoy learning about light and sound on this incredible experiment page. This will create hours of fun for you and your family.

Gravity

There is something for everyone on Gravity Day. This page has overviews and activities for all age groups.

gravity day

Numbers

Wanting to know more about numbers? Want to improve or learn some math? From the very beginning I have always been so impressed with Khan Academy. It started with Sal Khan sending his niece math tutoring  help over youtube videos. Then everyone started watching them and working their way towards math comprehension. Now Khan Academy is being used all over the world not only as math tutoring but math instruction. They have other courses as well in science and language. Little by little I’ve been bringing back my own math skills by following their learning map. It’s an incredible program and it’s absolutely FREE. Want to wonder about numbers just like Albert Einstein? Head on over to Khan Academy.