No Starch Press Carbon
No Starch Press Carbon


By John Barnett


Publication Date: March 9, 2021

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Ages 12 And Up, Grades 7 And Up

An illustrated history of a single atom of carbon, tracing its many manifestations from the Big Bang to the present.

Carbon: One Atom’s Odyssey is an illustrated adaptation of ’Carbon,’ a short story from Italian chemist, writer, and Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi. It traces the life story and many molecular manifestations of a single atom of this life-essential element.

You’ll follow one atom from its spectacular birth 14 billion years ago through its harrowing journey on planet earth where it has become a basic building block of nearly 10 million known compounds in living things. Along the way, you’ll learn that it is breathed in by the Peregrine Falcon; it is dissolved in the ocean before making its way back into the atmosphere; it is found in your pencil as well as in your liver; it helps trees grow strong and tall; and it even lets a moth’s eye make sense of light.

About the Author

John Barnett is a life-long, self-taught lover of science. He attended SUNY Buffalo where he studied Architecture and Fine Arts and had his first career was in carpentry, even building his own sailboat. He then returned to school at RISD and has since worked as an illustrator and graphic designer. After years of designing books, this is the first of his own.

Kristin Rosler, PhD is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She has a strong affinity for the use of narrative as a powerful teaching tool.

Author Residence: Providence, RI

Author Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 64 pages

Publisher: No Starch Press

ISBN: 9781718501225

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