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Saturday, April 11, 2009

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventure of Charles Darwin (Juvenile)

Released January 2009

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

There were a lot of interesting things in the house for Charles to
look at. It was not the kind of house where children were told things
like, “children must look, but not touch.” Even his mother had
interesting things to look at, for she raised pigeons. One of his
favorite things to do was to collect beetles. He even learned the
names of them. Charles was learning many things, but not in school.
After his mother died, his father became exasperated with him. “You
. . . will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family ”

When he was sixteen, he was sent off to college to learn medicine, but
he still didn’t get the picture. His grades were lousy and he still
was interested in collecting things as he was a born naturalist, not a
student. Studying to be a doctor was definitely not in the cards so
his father sent him to the University of Cambridge to become a cleric.
And he was still interested in collecting things. Then one day a
letter came from a friend that would change his life forever. In 1831
he boarded the naval ship Beagle and would embark on a trip that would
change his life and would forever alter the way the world thought
about evolution.

This type of simple biography makes it easier for the reluctant
student to learn about a subject as the marvelous visual imagery can
be a great help. The book was adventurous and fun. It makes the
somewhat distant character, Charles Darwin, come alive for the reader.
Obviously this book is not for the creationist, but would make a
lovely addition to the home or classroom.

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