Skip to main content

The Root of Life

Smithies Create


Published December 20, 2023

From the first page of Joy Frisch Hakim ’51’s new book, Discovering Life’s Story: Biology’s Beginnings, the reader has the enviable challenge of choosing between immersing themselves in the book’s glowing and luscious images—a trove of historic documents and artifacts—or its equally delicious and delightful writing. 

Hakim, who also authored the bestselling A History of US, is artful at sprinkling fascinating quotes from scientific luminaries among text that gallops along. The book is aimed at younger readers but will intrigue those of any age. Even those who consider themselves allergic to most history books will have a hard time flipping through such chapters as “Tongues That Are Teeth” without finding something that grabs their attention and refuses to release it. As Hakim notes in Chapter 7, “Ah, the power of a book!”

Joy Hakim ’51 
MITeen Press, 2023