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WHAT COLOR IS MY WORLD by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

WHAT COLOR IS MY WORLD

The Lost History of African American Inventors

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Author) , Raymond Obstfeld (Author) , Ben Boos (Illustrator) , A.G. Ford (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4564-9
Publisher: Candlewick

A handyman named R.E. Mital teaches a pair of twins about great African-American inventors and scientists as they explore their new house.

The authors interweave the story of the brother and sister and their unusual house guide with facts about men and one woman whose achievements have become part of our everyday lives. Each room they explore provides Mr. Mital with an opportunity for a biographical presentation. Thus, turning on a light bulb opens a discussion about Lewis Latimer, while cleaning the bathroom cabinet leads to information about Drs. Percy Julian, Daniel Hale Williams and Charles Drew. Time in the kitchen segues into facts about George Crum and the potato chip. A cell phone leads to details about Dr. Mark Dean and computer graphics, Dr. Valerie L. Thomas and 3-D and James West and microphones. Information is set apart from the narrative of the squabbling siblings through the use of page flaps, page backgrounds of varying colors, the boy’s hand-written notes and occasional graphic presentations. Each biographical entry, through brief, pays equal attention to the discrimination that the innovators faced. Unfortunately, the lack of an index and a table of contents make this problematic for homework assignments

A purposeful but appealing presentation of information about accomplished lives. And the guide? Examine his name. (authors’ notes, bibliography) (Informational fiction. 8-12)