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On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Last updated Thursday, June 5, 2014

Author: Jennifer Berne
Illustrator: Vladimir Radunsky
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0811872351
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2014

Synopsis: A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating our understanding of the universe. Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky invite the reader to travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. Parents and children alike will appreciate this moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who is Albert Einstein?

•  magnetism - the property of attracting certain metals : the attracting property of a magnet; a class of physical phenomena that include the attraction for iron observed in lodestone and a magnet, are inseparably associated with moving electricity, are exhibited by both magnets and electric currents, and are characterized by fields of force
•  atom - the smallest particle of a substance that can exist by itself or be combined with other atoms to form a molecule
•  genius - a very smart or talented person : a person who has a level of talent or intelligence that is very rare or remarkable
•  universe - all of space and everything in it including stars, planets, galaxies, etc.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How did Einstein get answers to his questions?
•  What kinds of things did Albert do to help himself think?
•  How did Albert change our world?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw some of your favorite things, like the illustrations of Einstein's favorites on the back inside cover.
•  Draw pictures of yourself doing activities you enjoy, similar to the four of Einstein towards the end of the book (skating, sailing, driving, riding a bike).
•  Make a father's day card.

Special activities:
•  Write a list of questions you have about your favorite subject. These can be questions you already have answers to or not.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!