Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mary Losure

Mary Losure's new book for older kids is Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd. From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to write this book for younger readers about Isaac Newton?

A: It began when I discovered that as a boy, Isaac Newton had lived all by himself in the attic of an apothecary’s shop and kept a tiny, secret notebook. I also knew he’d grown up to be an alchemist—a kind of sorcerer.

I hoped kids would be interested in a book that was not about the bewigged-old- guy- on- a- pedestal many people picture when they hear the name Isaac Newton, but about a lonely, angry boy who somehow grows up to be the world’s greatest alchemist.

Q: How did you research the book, and what particularly surprised you in the course of your research?

A: I built the story around three main sources: one was the secret notebook, which is now in the Morgan Library in New York City. (It’s also on-line at a fabulous site called The Newton Project.)

The other two sources were books we know Newton read as a child—he copied bits and pieces of them into the notebook. They’re called The Mysteries of Nature and Art, and Mathematicall Magick. Together, the notebook and those two mysterious books offered a window into Newton’s childhood.

When I went to England, I was surprised to see...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue