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George and the Big Bang by Lucy Hawking
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From the series that starts with George's Secret Key to the Universe; likewise almost entirely by Lucy Hawking, with a few inserted pieces on science by her father Stephen Hawking and various other well-known scientists. To be honest I wasn't all that impressed; George and friends are taken by convenient plot device to a number of educational settings to have adventures; Annie, the kick-ass heroine of the first book, gets rather sidelined here for other young male characters, and the means and motivation of the bad guys are not very clear or consistent. But the illustrations by Garry Parsons are jolly, and both books have a lot of beautiful astronomical photographs which are almost worth the price themselves. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 18, 2016 |
"Even though George had fallen into a deep sleep the moment his head touched the pillow, it didn't last long. After what felt like just a few seconds, he found himself sitting bolt upright in bed, cold sweat trickling down his back." (Hawking & Hawking, 2012, p. 112).

One of the greatest scientific minds the world has ever known has teamed up with his daughter again to put out another installment of their 'George' series. In this adventure, George and Annie become embroiled in a plot driven by sinister villains with malevolent plans. The book also contains cutting-edge scientific information in a series of essays and features that match plot points in the story. Powerful physics and cosmic topics are managed in a way that young readers can gain a grasp, even though it is challenging reading in some spots. The fictional galactic adventure narrative drives the story forward but there are 32 pages of color space photography along with black-and-white illustrations by Garry Parsons to enrich the storytelling. The book is textured with action, adventure, science, and relationships in a timeless battle of good vs evil. This book is a quantum gem and may be a real hook for juvenile readers with a budding interest in space science and scientific theories. ( )
  KoryD | Jul 25, 2013 |

Third and final installment of the George... series, written as a novel for kids about physics, and especially cosmology.

In this volume, Eric (Anne's physicist DAD) is working at the LHC, but there's an anti-scientific organisation kicking up a fuss to have the LHC switched off, so the world doesn't explode from the experiment. Eric's old boss, Zuzubin, finds out that Eric has been using his super-computer, Cosmos, to travel to the moon, even with kids (such as George) and summons him to a disciplinary meeting at the LHC. But actually, Zuzubin is working with this anti-scientific group, in a plot to bomb the LHC, and kill all the scientists in it. This way, Zuzubin's outdated theories will be vindicated after all, and he'll rise again to fame. In the meantime, Reeper, the previous baddie of the books, has turned good, and helps George, Anne, and her new boyfriend, Vincent, by telling them about the plot and giving them the information needed to defuse the bomb. They go to the basement of the maths department at Foxbridge University, to find an old Cosmos that may help, but also find Zuzubin there. Initially he traps them in an isolated room that could lead to any of a number of dangerous places. But Vincent overpowers Zuzubin and helps them get to the LHC to disarm the bomb and save the day.

Just as in the previous novels, the plot and characters, although a little clunky, are engaging and interesting for children. But the science explained is usually fact-based, rather than showing them the details. Also, sometimes it is badly written and must be over the heads of 9 year olds! For instance, here's a quote from p30 "Every particle in the universe attracts every other particle, with a force, pointing along the line between the particles, which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them." Surely this is far too text-book-y and difficult for 9 year olds!! This kind of fact-based section just seemed poorly explained, with little imagination to me, compared to fun story itself. ( )
  RachDan | Apr 16, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawking, Lucyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawking, Lucymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawking, Stephenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawking, Stephenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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George tries to escape a host of problems by going to Switzerland to help his friend Annie's father, Eric, run an experiment exploring the origins of the universe, but faces saboteurs and a mysterious message from George's old nemesis, Reeper, there. Includes scientific essays exploring the latest theories on the origin of the universe.… (more)

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