Albert Ein­stein: Genius of Space and Time! (Show Me History!)

Mark Shul­man, Kel­ly Tin­dall (Illus­tra­tor)

  • Review
By – January 17, 2022

Mark Shul­man and Kel­ly Tin­dall present Albert Ein­stein’s life sto­ry and pro­fes­sion­al accom­plish­ments in graph­ic nov­el for­mat using a pleas­ing­ly col­ored palette, expres­sive faces, plen­ty of action, and, notably, a gen­er­ous dose of humor that is leav­ened through­out both the text and illus­tra­tions. Ein­stein’s child­hood, edu­ca­tion­al chal­lenges and suc­cess­es, fam­i­ly life, and sci­en­tif­ic break­throughs are both told and shown in an engag­ing man­ner ensur­ing that young read­ers will absorb so they can bet­ter remem­ber facts about Ein­stein and the times in which he lived.

The author and illus­tra­tor include Ein­stein’s Jew­ish back­ground, cov­er­ing the anti­semitism he faced in Europe and his rela­tion­ship with the emerg­ing State of Israel. Kristall­nacht and the Holo­caust are also care­ful­ly addressed.

Ein­stein’s sci­en­tif­ic dilem­mas and the man­ner in which he resolved them are pre­sent­ed with clar­i­ty and age-appro­pri­ate detail; integri­ty is not sac­ri­ficed for sim­plic­i­ty and ease of under­stand­ing. Ein­stein’s pas­sion for peace is poignant­ly and addressed, and his activism on behalf of peace­ful coex­is­tence is evoca­tive­ly and iron­i­cal­ly con­trast­ed with the sci­en­tif­ic career, which result­ed in the devel­op­ment of a weapon of war whose pow­er had nev­er before been seen.

Exten­sive, infor­ma­tive back­mat­ter includes a sec­tion enti­tled Did You Know??” which briefly sum­ma­rizes the lives of oth­er physi­cists whose work inter­sect­ed with Ein­stein’s. A time­line, a glos­sary of sci­en­tif­ic terms, and a sug­gest­ed read­ing list are also included.

This well-thought through and well-exe­cut­ed graph­ic biog­ra­phy is a use­ful addi­tion to the ever-grow­ing body of work on Ein­stein’s life and times.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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