Review: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

by Button Books

Button Books (Great Lives in Graphics series), 2022

Category: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Stacy Nockowitz

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Great Lives in Graphics: Albert Einstein is a patchwork quilt of a book: its 32 pages attempt to cover many details of Einstein’s life, from his mother’s alarm at the size of his head when he was born to the weight of his brain upon autopsy. But the book also discusses an assortment of topics related to Einstein by only the thinnest thread, such as how a compass works and Plato’s “big ideas.” Each page is filled from corner to corner with colorful text, drawings, graphics, and charts of every shape and size. It’s possible that a middle grade reader would find this layout appealing in that it makes for an easy read– short snippets of facts and explanations displayed in a variety of fonts and connected images that mimic how kids absorb information today. It’s also possible that the book tries to squeeze so much onto the pages that a reader won’t know where to look. The unnamed authors do their best to reduce Einstein’s complex and far-reaching ideas to packets of information that middle grade readers can understand. The explanations of time travel, quantum physics, and thought experiments are particularly kid-friendly. However, the book isn’t really a biography, nor is it a science text. Great Lives in Graphics: Albert Einstein is more like a manic music video: a crush of images and ideas coming at the reader from all directions, and it’s over really quickly.

The infographic book mentions Einstein’s Jewish background only once, in the context of his schooling when he was very young. This Jewish content is not enough to make this book a contender for a Sydney Taylor Book Award.

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Reviewer Stacy Nockowitz is a middle school librarian and former language arts teacher. She holds Master's Degrees from Columbia University and Kent State University, and is an MFA candidate in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle grade novel,
The Prince of Steel Pier, comes out in September 2022 from Kar-Ben Books. Find her on Twitter @snockowitz or visit


  1. Interesting that a MG book would be only 32 pages …


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