The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking

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This week’s Thinking in English book of the week is The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking. The book is also available as a graded reader (a book designed to help English learners practice and develop reading skills).

Stephen Hawking was one of the most influential, respected, and well-known scientists of the past 100 years. After being diagnosed with motor-neurone disease at the age of 21 and told he only had a few years to live, he dedicated his life to trying to answer some of the biggest questions and problems in the world.

For example, how did the universe begin? What is a black hole? Is time travel possible? He studied space and time and taught people a lot about the universe. You may have seen the movieThe Theory of Everything’ which is about his life!

Stephen Hawking NASA 50th -
Stephen Hawking NASA 50th

I think this would be an excellent book for anyone interested in science or interested in reading biographies. As he was a scientist, of course the book references a lot of scientific information – but it also talks about his extraordinary life and how he was successful despite his disabilities.

I’ll link both the original book and the Penguin graded reader version! This book is full of narrative biography, timelines, fascinating facts and some beautiful illustrations.

The graded reader is a Level 3 Reader, so it is designed for students ranked A2 in the CEFR framework. Basically, it is an upper beginner level reader. Sentences have up to three clauses, and the most difficult grammar is first conditional, past continuous, and present perfect simple.

If this is too easy for you, why not try the original native English version?


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Are you going to read the book? What books do you recommend for English learners? Let us know in the comments!

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By Tom Wilkinson

Host and founder of Thinking in English, Tom is committed to providing quality and interesting content to all English learners. Previously a research student at a top Japanese university and with a background in English teaching, political research, and Asian languages, Tom is now working fulltime on bettering Thinking in English!

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