Best known for his scientific theories on the Big Bang and the origins of the Universe, Stephen Hawking may seem an unlikely children’s author. His daughter Lucy, however, was inspired by the stories she heard from her dad, to write children’s fiction based firmly in scientific fact. With her father as co-author, Lucy Hawking has written a series of books aimed at readers aged 8-10 years old. “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” offers plenty of action and adventure, interspersed with scientific essays aimed at younger readers. The formula is proving a great success.
The most recent of these, George and the Blue Moon, features essays from two of our Faculty members. Professors Ros Rickaby and Tamsin Mather provide background facts for the oceans and volcanoes explored by the protagonist, George, and his friend Annie.
As both Professors are mums to young readers, they were thrilled to be invited to collaborate in the book, as Tamsin explains: “Stories, especially science fiction stories, are a great way to stimulate young readers’ natural curiosity about science and technology and it was fun to write a scientific piece on volcanoes for a younger audience with George and Annie’s adventures in mind. I have already enjoyed reading the books with my children and hope others do too.”
Ros agrees: “It’s brilliant to be able to get kids excited about science and help inspire the next generation of scientists. Young readers are full of fascinating questions, like “Why is the sky blue?” They really want to know, and we’re lucky to be able to provide answers to those types of questions, and help keep that spark of enquiry alive.”
The books are published by Penguin and are available online and in shops.