I did not know when I picked up this book that it is geared towards children. Despite that, it has good solid science content, an engaging (though simplified) exposition, and beautiful illustrations. I especially like Dawkins’ approach: the title of each chapter is a question - ‘what is the sun?’, ‘when and how did everything begin?’ - and begins with a brief description of the mythological answers that have been given by various religions and cultures. After a couple pages he then has the main section of the chapter, entitled ‘What is the real answer’. I like this. It drives home the fact that just because pre-scientific people wanted to explain things, we should not believe that their explanations are in any way accurate or worthy of more than historical interest.

So this would be an excellent book for the science-inclined pre-teen or early teen, and it’s really not a bad overview for adults of a number of scientific topics.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True
  • Author: Richard Dawkins
  • Published: 2011
  • ISBN: 1439192812
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars