by Deborah Heiligman
Just out! • Henry Holt • YA fiction • Ages 12 and up
A portrait of a brilliant man, a radical science, and a great love. Story: Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, his revolutionary treatise on evolution in 1859. Even today, the theory of evolution creates tension between the scientific and religious communities. This same debate raged within Darwin himself and played an important part in his marriage: Emma's faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked on his controversial theory. This biography takes a personal look at the man behind evolutionary theory. His children doubled as scientific specimens, and his wife's religious convictions made him rethink how the world would receive his ideas.
- A Printz Honor Award Book
- Winner of the first-ever YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award
- National Book Award Finalist
Charles and Emma has received starred reviews from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Horn Book and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books! - click here to read them!
Plus Deborah Heiligman's website has a wealth of information so you can:
- read The Darwins' marriage of science and religion, an article written for the Los Angeles Times.
- listen to an interview from NPR.
- learn about writing and researching the book
- explore a Time Line of Darwin's life
- and "Meet the Darwins: An Interview with Deborah Heiligman" printed in School Library Journal; read it here.
In the foreword, Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Beak of the Finch writes: "Authors by the hundreds have written about Darwin's genius and the way his ideas transformed the world....But as far as I know, this is the first book to focus on the adventure that began when Darwin, home from his voyage, took out a piece of scrap paper and made himself a quirky, funny, very candid list of the pros and cons of settling down....How Charles and Emma ... made a successful marriage of science and religion is the story told in this book. Reading it helps us understand in the most vivid, intimate, and personal way how shocking Darwin's ideas were for the people of his time.... Charles and Emma were the best of friends, and their story is an inspiration....one feels that their love story was one of the most significant adventures and greatest masterpieces of Darwin's life."
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.