Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman
The Darwins' Leap of Faith

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Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, his revolutionary tract on evolution and the fundamental ideas involved, in 1859. Nearly 150 years later, the theory of evolution continues to create tension between the scientific and religious communities. Challenges about teaching the theory of evolution in schools occur annually all over the country. This same debate raged within Darwin himself, and played an important part in his marriage: his wife, Emma, was quite religious, and her faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked on a theory that continues to spark intense debates.

Deborah Heiligman's new biography of Charles Darwin is a thought-provoking account of the man behind evolutionary theory: how his personal life affected his work and vice versa. The end result is an engaging exploration of history, science, and religion for young readers.

Charles and Emma is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.


About Deborah Heiligman

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Deborah Heiligman has written more than twenty books for children. She graduated from Brown University, and started her writing career working for Scholastic News Explorer, the classroom magazine, but left when she wanted to be home with her children, and then she started writing her books. She is married to Jonathan Weiner, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for The Beak of the Finch.
Published January 6, 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 281 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Charles and Emma

Kirkus Reviews

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This rich, insightful portrait of Charles and Emma Darwin’s marriage explores a dimension of the naturalist’s life that has heretofore been largely ignored.

Dec 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Charles and Emma: The Darwins...

The New York Times

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A book about the question at the heart of Darwin’s marriage to Emma Wedgwood; and a picture-book introduction to Darwin and his dangerous ideas.

May 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Charles and Emma: The Darwins...

Their love story—a true marriage of science and religion—became one of the greatest adventures of Darwin’s life, and readers will revel in the drama of the opposites captured by Deborah Heiligman in Charles and Emma.

Jan 25 2017 | Read Full Review of Charles and Emma: The Darwins...

Common Sense Media

The narrative style and the copious use of letters and diary entries make it read more like fiction, but it's still the story of an adult in Victorian England who inherits enough money to indulge in scientific study and write books (including The Origin of the Species) while raising a large famil...

Dec 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Charles and Emma: The Darwins...

A Patchwork of Books

" First Book and Simon & Schuster are cheering for Heather Henson’s book That Book Woman, recently chosen for the 2010 – 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List!.

| Read Full Review of Charles and Emma: The Darwins...

Booked Solid

What you think you know about Charles Darwin will be tested in this award-winning book.

Sep 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Charles and Emma: The Darwins...

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