BOOK REVIEWS

The Man Who Knew Everything: The Strange Life of Athanasius Kircher Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-11 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:155451973X
LANGUAGE:English

" Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. " said.

"Top non-fiction picture book pick! This gorgeous picture book is a biography of "Athanasius Kircher, a 17th-century German Jesuit and scientist. " The Museum of Jurassic Technology states , "It is difficult to accurately summarize the breadth of activities explored and mastered by the 17th century Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher. Inventor, composer, geographer, geologist, Egyptologist, historian, adventurer, philosopher, proprietor of one of the first public museums, physicist, mathematician, naturalist, astronomer, archaeologist, author of more than 40 published works: Kircher was one of the preeminent European intellectuals of 17th Century.". And yet Marilee Peters (author) and Roxanna Bikadoroff (illustrator) manage to beautifully capture the full extent of this brilliant and eccentric man's contributions to science and culture. Peters carefully curates and portrays her story in a child-friendly voice. The book is engaging , I believe, for school-age to adults! Bikadoroff's illustrations support Kircher's story perfectly; her fine etched illustrations remind me of actual 17th century ink illustrations. Peters supplies much reference information so any reader may further explore the life and accomplishments of Peters. Thank you so much for creating such an interesting work. I would highly recommend this book for anyone seeking a unique and engaging story about a very creative thinker." said.

" Short, but engaging STEM nonfiction for upper elementary or middle school readers. The hits and misses of Kircher's observations are humorous to us now. " said.

" This guy is just cool, and this book would have been exactly what I loved in elementary school - full of wild facts, neat pictures, and weird history. I really liked how this was put together, and at the end is a fact or fiction guide to Kircher's "discoveries" as well as a mapped timeline.So fun. " said.

" An interesting look into a prodigiously interesting figure from the times of the Scientific Revolution, The Protestant Reformation, the Thirty-Year War: the early to mid 1600s. Like Kircher himself, the book isn't perfect, but it's well worth the time to read and learn, if for no other reason, the infographic-like 'time line' of Kircher's life illustration. And for the word, to kircherize. " said.

" One of the attributes I'd most like my students to leave school with is burning curiosity and this book portrays a man exhibiting this trait. Sure, he probably had as many misses as hits, and probably erred on the side of philosophizing rather than careful experimentation- but there's a lesson in that as well.Well laid out and illustrated, perfectly suited to elementary students. " said.

"Fun bio of a 17th century "scientist" intent on discovering everything about how the world works and is. A Jesuit priest, he settled in Rome and somehow managed to escape the Inquisition with his pronouncements.

Given the extent of science in those days, it's amusing to see what Kircher hit upon that was correct. He also was a PT Barnum type, establishing a museum for all of his scientific artifacts. A lot was just prank/made up fun.

The back part that shows some of his hits and misses is enlightening. There's also a chronology and a map of his worldly travels. The art is not spectacular or breathtaking, but it works.
" said.

"Although a book for teens or pre-teens this is a delightful book with information and illustrations about the unusual figure of Athanasius Kircher. The man lost to history is a cross between Leonardo Da Vinci and P. T. Barnum. Kircher had a delightful museum of curiosities that matched his books on strange, bizarre and often accurate theories of how nature works.

While enjoying the book you get to understand why Kircher is not well known today. He outlived his time as the amateur polymath idiosyncratic scientific explorer gave way to what we know as the hard sciences, and the triumph of the scientific method. Kircher speculated widely in ways that would be impossible for a scientist to do. Its interesting to know about Kircher and this book does its job.
" said.

July 2018 New Book:

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