Joy Hakim's writing approach veers from the mainstream, as illustrated by how Albert Einstein is described in her series of books, "The Science Story," and in the 2001 edition of "Physical Science," a middle school text. Hakim devotes chapters to Einstein; the other book has fewer than 10 sentences about him.

"Physical Science"

"You might have heard of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein's theory included a small change to the law of conservation of energy. He explained that energy can sometimes be created -- by destroying matter! This process is not important for most of the energy conversions described in this chapter. But it is important in nuclear reactions, where huge amounts of energy are produced by destroying tiny amounts of matter. . . ."

"The Science Story"

"It was clear that Albert Einstein was bright, but he had an attitude problem. He had little patience with schoolwork and often didn't appear in class; he seemed to learn best on his own. When he graduated and needed a job recommendation, he couldn't get one. One of his teachers called him a 'lazy dog' because he didn't always do his assignments. But the professor was wrong. He wasn't lazy. His mind was working hard. It was on that lightbeam. For more than ten years the question of what happens at the speed of light never seemed to leave his head. . . . When finally, in 1905, he was able to answer his own questions about that lightbeam, he had developed one of the most important scientific theories in all of history -- the theory of Special Relativity. . . ."