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- author Jackie French

Monday 1 July 2019

Review: Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd

What do you know about Isaac Newton?

In this narrative non-fiction book, Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd, you'll learn a whole lot more about how he began his journey to becoming one of the world's greatest scientists.

In the mid-1600s, aged just twelve, as a boarder in the house (and workshop) of an apothecary, Isaac was full of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge.

He had an affinity for colours, and in his notebook he documented his recipes for creating them out of materials including egg yolk, chalk and berries.

He also loved stars, and observed and wrote about them in his notebook.

As Isaac's story, and secrets, are revealed through Isaac the Alchemist, you'll read about his schooling, ancient mathematics and mechanics and his hands-on experimentation (such as building a water clock).

However, it was Isaac's home at the apothecary's house that exposed him to the wonders of alchemy and chemistry (or chymistry as it was then known). And this eventually led to his exploring the idea of perpetual motion.

Kites and farming finally give way to university (Trinity College at Cambridge) and adulthood, as Isaac goes on to further his understanding and exploration of the world's mysteries.

The importance of Isaac Newton's discoveries and achievements is quite staggering, and this book is a small window into what it might have been like to be Isaac Newton at a time when much we take for granted was still unknown.

At the back of the book are lots of historical, scientific and source notes, as well as a bibliography and index. These will all help anyone who wants to do further research of their own, or simply explore the factual side of the story.

Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd is easy to read, informative and inspiring. There is a strong sense of time and place which makes you feel transported to Isaac Newton's world.

Author Mary Losure has resources for teachers available on her website.

Title: Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd
Author: Mary Losure 
Publisher: Candlewick, $16.99
Publication Date: November 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781536203639
For ages: 10+
Type: Junior non-fiction