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On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition

Review

On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition

Charles Darwin made waves in the scientific field in the middle of the 19th century when he published his ground-breaking and controversial book, ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. In that book, Darwin explained his ideas about how plants and animals have evolved, which came to be known as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. His ideas were very controversial at the time and they are still being debated today.

"A beautiful, fact-filled book that kids will delight in reading, as they delve into the subjects of natural selection and evolution."

The subject of evolution is a rather complex one. Because of this, it’s not the normal subject matter for a kids’ book. But author Rebecca Stefoff has taken Darwin’s original manuscript and put it in a more kid-friendly format. She adapted Darwin's first edition of ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, published in 1859, by shortening it considerably. Darwin’s text was more than three times what is included here. Stefoff omitted some sections of the original text because they were out of date or the information was repetitive. She also rewrote some of Darwin’s sentences so they were shorter and easier to understand.

Dozens of full-cover photographs were added liberally throughout, and the text was broken up with highlighted boxes that talk about contemporaries of Darwin and others that provide additional context about subjects mentioned in the book. A Glossary is included in the back of the book, as well as a list of books and web pages where readers can get more information. The result is a beautiful, fact-filled book that kids will delight in reading, as they delve into the subjects of natural selection and evolution.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on November 29, 2018

On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition
by Charles Darwin and Rebecca Stefoff