My Name is…Albert Einstein

Lluis Cugo­ta; Eric A Bye, trans.; Gus­ta­vo Roldan, illus.
  • Review
By – November 11, 2011

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Span­ish in 2004, My Name Is…Albert Ein­stein exem­pli­fies the ele­ments of good edu­ca­tion­al pub­lish­ing: a live­ly, accu­rate text, suit­able illus­tra­tions, and a man­age­able format. 

This first-per­son account of Einstein’s life and work engages the young read­er in an imme­di­ate way. For exam­ple, Ein­stein says, I start­ed to speak at three, a lit­tle late for a genius’, as some of my biog­ra­phers would lat­er remark.” The con­tent is ageap­pro­pri­ate, espe­cial­ly when deal­ing with Einstein’s sci­en­tif­ic the­o­ries as well as his prob­lem­at­ic rela­tion­ships to people. 

Ein­stein men­tions his Jew­ish iden­ti­ty through­out the book, for exam­ple when he was a child bul­lied by old­er Gen­tile chil­dren or when he was asked to become the pres­i­dent of Israel. 

Cugo­ta breezi­ly dis­cuss­es Einstein’s work, and then reas­sures the read­er not to wor­ry if it seems too com­pli­cat­ed. This is a wel­come note, even for adults who are sci­ence- challenged! 

This book is kid friend­ly. The comic­strip- like illus­tra­tions by Gus­ta­vo Roldán enhance the text. A time­line helps to place Einstein’s life in the con­text of world events. A bib­li­og­ra­phy and index are lack­ing— weak­ness­es in an oth­er­wise wel­come addi­tion to the cur­rent flood of biogra­phies about Albert Ein­stein. Ages 9 – 12.

Anne Dublin is the teacher-librar­i­an at Holy Blos­som Tem­ple in Toron­to, Cana­da and an award-win­ning author of books for chil­dren and young adults. Her lat­est book is June Call­wood: A Life of Action (Sec­ond Sto­ry Press, 2006).

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