DISCLAIMER: I reviewed this book a few years ago for Foreword Reviews / Clarion Online. I loved it so much I decided to read it again. What the hell.
My friend Asa, a physics teacher who is originally from Sweden, is working on a grant to get more young girls interested in science and technology.
I think this book could be part of the answer.
Long ago, I read Sophie’s World by the Norwegian Jostein Gaarder. It blew me away. The book teaches you the history of philosophy while telling an entertaining story. Well, Fizz does the same–but for the history of science.
There’s a time machine. You meet Newton, and he’s cranky.
HOW IT BEGINS: AN ECO–COMMUNE IN THE ICELAND OF THE FUTURE
The year: 2110
The eco-commune that young Fizz has grown up in (hmmm…Israeli writer…commune…) in Iceland eschews science and technology as leading to prying, meddling, war, and destruction. Like other technophobic groups, they allow young members a trip to the Outside when they come of age, to decide for themselves how they wish to live. Despite considerable opposition, Fizz makes the choice to answer her questions about the world she lives in.
And really, isn’t everybody insanely curious about how the Universe(s) work? I know *I* am!
What the Eco-community doesn’t know is that Fizz’s dad, who left before she was born, has invented a time machine.
You heard me…a TIME MACHINE.
Fizz will spend her PCC (Personal Choice Clause) dining with Aristotle, throwing apples at Newton beside the river Cam, and discussing the mind-bending theory of Schrodinger’s Cat with Einstein himself. It’s all very Big Bang Theory.
But all along several questions plague Fizz: Would she rather live in her mom’s world or her dad’s? What really happened between her parents? Is it okay to label technology “evil” while accepting the benefits of advanced medicine?
The personalities of the real-life physicists are well-drawn: From the arrogant Aristotle (who thinks women are less human) to kindly old Galileo to the hostile and suspicious Newton, etc. Challenges that each scientist faced are presented boldly—opposition from the Church in the case of Copernicus, world wars that prevented Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein from communicating with other scientists, gender bias in the case of Marie Curie. Somehow, physics moved on—and young Fizz asks all the right questions.
Will she ever get home again? And if she does, how will she have changed?
I wish there was a novel like this for every area of human interest. Well, Zvi? Whatcha working on now? 😉