Reviewed by CBC Reviewer
So many science and history books offer only token recognition of a few minority scientists. This compendium offers valuable and significant information about inventors who come from varied backgrounds, and whose creative thinking led the way for many of today's most valuable technologies.
The book is a combination of readable biography and informational text. The narrative will hook the reader, and the facts prompt even more investigation. Lewis Howard Latimer's work on the light bulb, James E. West's work with microphones, the innovations of Joseph Lee and Lloyd A. Hall in food preparation are all inspirational. Taste a potato chip and thank George Crum! Or lick an ice cream cone, thanks to Alfred L. Cralle. There's even the story of Percy Lavon Julian's improvements to race cars in graphic novel format.
This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book can serve many purposes. It's readability (especially the biographical sections) will capture the interest of even reluctant readers from middle elementary through secondary. The authentic diversity of people, places, and engineering methods will demonstrate that there is room for many approaches to innovation. Teachers will appreciate this as a supplement to an engineering curriculum, a way to create more in–depth understanding of the history of invention and a collection of pathways to individual or group exploration.
Review posted on 1/16/2013