Monday, July 23, 2007

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown #37

Brown, D. (2004). Odd boy out: Young Albert Einstein. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Book Type/Pages:

Picture/ 32

Grade Level:

Second through fifth grade

Curriculum Links:

Social Studies

Author Credibility:

Don Brown gives additional information on Albert Einstein in his author’s note at the back of the book. He also includes a bibliography of books at the back of the book.


2005 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
BCCB Blue Ribbon Non Fiction Book Award

Book Summary:

This book is about the life of Albert Einstein. He was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1879. As a baby and young child, he worried his family. He was slow to speak and seemed unfocused in school. He shows great concentration and cleverness on tasks in which he is interested. His family moves to Munich and starts school. He does not enjoy sports as other boys and prefers to play alone. He is often teased in school for being Jewish. Albert grows up and attends Zurich Polytechnic, after which he takes a job in a government patent office. He wins the Nobel Prize for his work with the photoelectric effect and theories of relativity.

National/State Standards:

National Social Studies Standards:
Individual Development and Identity
Production, Distribution, and Consumption


Don Brown created the illustrations using pen and ink and watercolors. He also digitally created illustrations for this book. The illustrations are large, covering each two page spread. The illustrations show great detail, especially on Einstein’s face. The text appears on top of the illustration.

Access Features:

Important access features include an author’s note and a bibliography.

Writing Style:

The text is written informally and is simplistic in nature. Through his text, Brown conveys sadness at Einstein being left out and the reader feels empathy for him. The text is easy to understand and read.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book as a part of studying about famous scientists. I would also emphasize the power of one person to effect on others.

My Response to the Book:

I loved this book! The illustrations were so clear and showed great detail. I felt sad that Einstein was picked on as a child and spent most of his life being misunderstood.

Related Texts:

Albert Einstein: Young Thinker by Marie Hammontree
Young Albert Einstein by Santrey, Ellen Beier, and Laurence Santrey
Albert Einstein: A Biography for Young People by Catherine Owens Peare
Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity by Robert Cwiklik
Who Was Albert Einstein? by Jess BrallierAlbert
Einstein (History Maker Bios) by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson

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