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Publisher's Summary

Stephen Hawking, author of the multi-million copy bestselling A Brief History of Time, and his daughter, Lucy, explain the universe to listeners of all ages.

George's parents, who have always been wary of technology, warn him about their new neighbors: Eric is a scientist and his daughter, Annie, seems to be following in his footsteps. But when George befriends them and Cosmos, their super-computer, he finds himself on a wildly fun adventure, while learning about physics, time, and the universe. With Cosmos' help, he can travel to other planets and a black hole. But what would happen if the wrong people got their hands on Cosmos? George, Annie, and Eric aren't about to find out, and what ensues is a funny adventure that clearly explains the mysteries of science.

©2007 Lucy Hawking (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
  • 10-03-13

My girls LOVED this book

If you could sum up George's Secret Key to the Universe in three words, what would they be?

Physics and astronomy made fun.

What does Hugh Dancy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hugh Dancy's use of accent, tone and inflection brings the characters to life

Any additional comments?

My girls (8 and 10) were captivated by this book. As soon as they get in the car they want me to play it and were always disapointed when we would stop and have to get out of teh car. It truely was a treat for them and they learned so much. I really enjoyed it too, it is a great little yarn. It was a great opportunity for me to share my love of physics with them.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen!

My 11 year old boy was hesitant to purchase this one...but he LOVED it...we even listened to Steven Hawking's Postlude together, he was so enthralled with the story and author's special abilities. Great job!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelli
  • Meridian, ID, United States
  • 03-05-11

Fun and educational children's book!

This book seems geared for grammar school kids through young teens and the authors manage very well to make really complex scientific concepts accessible even to very young readers. The language is simple, and the characters easy to relate to. As an adult, I thought the story was cute and very educational. I enjoy reading physics written for a general audience. It's great that Stephen Hawking, as one of the most brilliant physicists ever, has made his work so accessible to general audiences and now, with the help of his daughter, to children. I think this would be a fantastic book to listen to on a road trip with kids, especially if you were on your way to an observatory or planetarium. It has some good messages to kids and parents. The narration is polished and portrays the characters and action well. Dr. Hawking discusses the more technical aspects of the science at the end himself, which is a nice bonus.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable for the whole family

Completely captured our whole family's attention including (8 yr old boy, 9 yr old girl, Mom & Dad.) And while it was a great story it also effectively taught about the universe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome story

A Great science lesson. The reading by Hugh is perfect. The characters come alive as he reads.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining and educational at the same time.

Would you consider the audio edition of George's Secret Key to the Universe to be better than the print version?

I really enjoyed this book. It's meant for kids over 7-8 years old so younger kids might be confused by some of the science being explained. But the situations the characters find themselves in does a great job of finding a visual way of explaining the science. It's a great book for kids who have an interest in the sciences or the natural world. The relationship between George and Annie is lovely and believable. It's nice to see a girl who doesn't fall into the stereotypic roles of either the ditzy girl or the brainiac know-it-all. The last "chapter" in the audio version is of Stephen Hawking himself discussing space and solar system. Wonderful!

Which scene was your favorite?

When George and Eric lose contact with Cosmos and you don't know what will happen to them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

My inner eight-year-old was intrigued, but...

I can see why kids may like the book. The plot is lightweight, the villain is villainous but not violent, and there's enough silliness and magical fantasy passed off as science to keep kids entertained while they learn some interesting things about space. But as a critical adult, I'm thinking, "Here's another example of why celebrities should not write children's fiction." In fact, it feels as though this book can't decide if it's fiction or non-fiction. There are long passages of scientific explanation -- at a child's level -- and a very heavy-handed, "Hey, science is great!" theme to the book. Yes, science IS great, but repeating the words over and over while inaccurately painting environmental activists as anti-science wack-a-doodle Luddites is probably not the most convincing way to make the point. The actual plot takes a while to get started -- in fact, for a while I was afraid the entire book would be, "Friendly adult scientist explains the universe to a young boy." Most of the characters, especially the teachers and villains (and there's not a lot of distinction between the two), are shallow clichés. The pig who drives the action in the first few chapters vanishes after that, even though the reader keeps hoping he'll show up to drive off the bullies or something, anything. If the book did not have a famous name on the cover, it would probably never have made it out of the slush pile at the publisher. I hope the rest of the series is better than this first book, but I'm not intrigued enough just now to find out. At least it was read well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The last chapter is the best!

it's a charming kids story, but the last chapter is classic Stephen Harkins—his computer voice telling you about the basics of astronomy

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great for families!

Family of 4 - we all loved it! Kids of 10 and 8 (boy & girl) hung on every word! No more arguments in the car, lol!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Great for families with school age kids. We listened to this on a short road trip and the whole family loved it