Non-Fiction 4

Non-fiction for teens sure does have a bad rep. This monthly feature will introduce non-fiction titles that are fun and informative and hopefully bring to life the wealth of relevant and amazing titles that are out there.

 This month’s book: Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligam.


Beginning with Darwin’s notorious chart listing reasons to wed and not to wed, Heiligman has created a unique, flowing, and meticulously researched picture of the controversial scientist and the effect of his marriage on his life and work. Using the couple’s letters, diaries, and notebooks as well as documents and memoirs of their relatives, friends, and critics, the author lets her subjects speak for themselves while rounding out the story of their relationship with information about their time and place. She shows how Darwin’s love for his intelligent, steadfast, and deeply religious cousin was an important factor in his scientific work—pushing him to document his theory of natural selection for decades before publishing it with great trepidation. Just as the pair embodied a marriage of science and religion, this book weaves together the chronicle of the development of a major scientific theory with a story of true love.

 Thoughts: Love it! I really enjoy books that use letters and diaries to tell a story, especially a non-fiction story. Who knew that Charles Darwin could be such a captivating guy???

Other info: Was a National Book Award finalist, has one the Michael. L Printz Honor Award, as well as YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adult Award.

Also, in September 2009 a movie called Creation staring Paul Bettany  (Darwin) and Jennifer Connelly (Emma) was released in theatres.


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