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THOMAS EDISON FOR KIDS by Laurie Carlson

THOMAS EDISON FOR KIDS

His Life and Ideas: 21 Activities

By Laurie Carlson

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-55652-584-2
Publisher: Chicago Review

Carlson tucks 21 science activities, most at least slightly related to Edison’s inventions, into this account of his career and times. Portraying him as a self-taught go-getter with terrible business sense but an unrelenting work ethic, an altruistic impulse that led him deliberately to leave some of his ideas unpatented, and a mischievous streak (one of his early, lesser-known inventions was an electrified cockroach trap), the author follows him from itinerant youth to renowned old age with side glances at his private life, as well as general descriptions of his major inventions and (usually ill-fated) business ventures. She also keeps the projects simple, stressing the use of common materials and noting when adult supervision is required. Illustrated with period diagrams and photos, and closing with a generous resource list, this makes a solid addition to the Edison shelf—though for capturing its subject’s maverick genius, or enduring effect on our daily lives, it isn’t going to replace Marfé Ferguson Delano’s Inventing the Future: A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison (2002). (Biography. 9-12)