OLIVER AND THE GREAT BIG UNIVERSE de Jorge Cham

A fun middle-grade trilogy that explores science – with comics – from an acclaimed author and scientist. Cosmos meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid

OLIVER AND THE GREAT BIG UNIVERSE (Book 1)
by Jorge Cham
Abrams, 2023
(via The Gernert Company)

11-year old Oliver is constantly distracted in life but wants to become an astrophysicist. He doesn’t quite know why or what that means, but he thinks this stuff is really cool. Part of the narrative of the books is Oliver discovering what it means to study the Universe from Dr. Howard, Oliver’s somewhat reluctant and dry-humored Astrophysicist mentor. Oliver is selfdeprecating, funny and relentlessly optimistic about all this, and his enthusiasm and naivete is infectious and inspiring as well as comical. Through a series of funny comics, Oliver learns complex ideas (the Big Bang theory, black holes, supernovas) from his favorite teacher and then explains them to other kids using humorous and relatable analogies that make learning science fun and engaging.

Jorge Cham is the author (along with Daniel Whiteson) of WE HAVE NO IDEA (Riverhead, 2017) and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE, which is forthcoming from Riverhead. He is the creator of the popular web comic phdcomics.com and is also a co-creator of the PBS Kids show Elinor Explains Why, which is one of the highest rated shows on PBS’s Kids. He obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Robotics and taught at Cal Tech.

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