Ernest Rutherford – Just an ordinary boy

Ernest Rutherford grew up in a tiny town in New Zealand. He had a curious mind and yearned to further his education.

But his family could not afford to send him to high school or university. Three times he tried for scholarships and each time he failed.

However, with perseverance and patience he finally succeeded, and he’d go on to become one of the world’s greatest scientists.

Ernest Rutherford is a story about New Zealand’s most famous scientist and not giving up on your dreams.

From the award winning author Maria Gill with stunning illustrations by Alistair Hughes. This is Maria and Alistair’s third collaboration about a significant event in New Zealand and the world’s history. Other books include The King’s Medal and Ice Breaker!.

$24.99 incl. GST

2 in stock (can be backordered)

Payments: Secure credit or debit card payment via Stripe, or make an online bank transfer. Shipping: $5.20 to $15.60 per order based on largest book size. Rural delivery $6 extra. Tracked courier delivery usually 1-2 days.  Returns and exchanges: See FAQs. 



NZ Booklovers ~ “Ernest Rutherford: Just An Ordinary Boy is a story about our country’s most famous scientist, his humble beginnings and the importance of not giving up on your dreams. Maria Gill has once again crafted an essential resource that is both entertaining and educational. Rutherford’s story is vividly brought to life by illustrator Alistair Hughes who masterfully paints a picture of the era Rutherford grew up in.”

Paula Green, Poetry Box ~ “I loved the fact Ernest’s teacher gave him a science book that inspired him to do things and to question. Maria’s book seems exactly the kind of book that will inspire another child to do and to question.

“Maria Gill is one of our national treasures when it comes to nonfiction children’s books. Ernest Rutherford: Just an ordinary boy is no exception. His unfolding life is inspiring. Importantly, it is good to spend time with the curious child as much as it is the curious adult, and to read examples of Ernest’s key experiments and discoveries. Maria places him alongside other notable scientists (Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Isaac Newton), and offers a valuable timeline and glossary. This book is essential reading. I will leave you with an apt sentence from the book’s conclusion: “Perseverance and curiosity can give you the greatest gift of all … knowledge.”

Meet the Kiwi author

Maria GillFind out more about award-winning New Zealand author Maria Gill on her author page.

Additional information

Dimensions25 × 25 cm

Hardcover edition



Page count


Published by

Upstart Press


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