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.