Title: Get Ahead in…PHYSICS: GCSE Revision without the boring bits, from Newton’s laws to levitating frogs
Author: Tom Whipple
Illustrator: James Davies
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Teen/young adult non-fiction, Study guide, Science – physics
Book format: Paperback
Description: All the essentials for GCSE Physics, in a book you can start and finish – without falling asleep in the middle! Learn about:
THE PARTICLE THEORY OF MATTER
…AND PLENTY MORE BESIDES.
Along the way hear fascinating TRUE stories of the Philosopher’s Stone, radioactive energy drinks and a couple of levitating frogs…
With words by The Times Science Editor Tom Whipple and brilliant pictures by James Davies, this book brings Physics to life in all its weirdness and wonder.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is a such a great book and perfect for anyone studying for their GCSEs as well as those who aren’t. ‘Get Ahead in…PHYSICS’ is filled with easy to understand information as well as some brilliant illustrations throughout which really help you to remember everything you’ve read.
The book is arranged into sections, such as Particle Theory of Matter, Electricity, etc. and each section has a short introduction, a lot of interesting information and then a fun conclusion. The entire book is really easy to read and doesn’t feel like a text book or revision guide at all. In fact it just feels like a fun fact-filled book to read, which it is! Every section starts off by a brief introduction to that section before diving into the subject. The things you learn are broken down into smalller mini-sections and although the book does focus on the important things you need to know in order to pass your exams, it does this in a surprisingly fun and easy to understand way. For example, instead of just reciting Newton’s three laws of motion, it begins by talking about Newton himself, a strange anecdote about the man, which does stick in your mind (or should that be ‘eye’ – you’ll understand if you read the book!) and then gives an easy to grasp example of how these laws work using something simple like a shopping trolley and baked bean cans!
I really like the way everything is explained in this book. As someone who struggled with a lot of science at school (the only one I excelled at was biology) I promptly forgot everything I had tried to learn for my own GCSE exams as soon as I did them. This book though has actually taught me a lot of these things again, and in most cases taught me things that I never learned in the first place. Not only has it been easy to understand but all this information has stayed in my mind after reading, because it’s been made so fun to learn. The silly stories about what strange experiements and things that physicists did in the past really does help as you not only have a good laugh while reading but you’re also more likely to remember the important physics stuff as it’s associated with the silly stories. A good example of this is a poor dinosaur that goes through a sequence of terrible events to explain energy (and the possible extinction of dinosaurs).
The illustrations are all in black, white and grey and they are all very funny. Just like the stories in the book, these illustrations really help to break down the text and help you to remember a lot of information. There are several illustrated diagrams which help you to understand a lot of the concepts better too. At the end of each section there is a summary of what you should know and along with that there is a little bit of extra information which isn’t necessary to exams but does make physics sound even more interesting. I really like these extra sections as it’s made me much more interested in most of the things mentioned, like dark matter.
This really is a brilliant book and I would recommend it to everyone. Although meant for teens who are studying for their GCSE physics/science exams, I would recommend this to younger teens too it will definitely get them interested in physics. The writing is very easy to understand so a lot of younger teens will enjoy this I’m sure. I’d also recommend this for adults to read too especially if you struggled a bit with physics at school, like I didm and want to re-learn/remember this stuff. It really does make you interested in the subject of physics and the wider world around us, and it makes the whole subject seem so exciting – a feeling I never felt when I studied this at school. It’s a brilliant book and I can’t wait for the next installment about Chemistry to be published!
Did you enjoy studying physics at school? Are any of your children studying physics? What do you think of this book? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂