Cover image for Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
Fisher, Leonard Everett.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 28 cm
A biography of the prolific inventor who had a keen interest in voice and sound and who worked tirelessly on behalf of deaf people.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library TK6143.B4 F57 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Angola Public Library TK6143.B4 F57 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Clearfield Library TK6143.B4 F57 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Lake Shore Library TK6143.B4 F57 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Williamsville Library TK6143.B4 F57 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Audubon Library TK6143.B4 F57 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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By age sixteen he was a piano virtuoso; by age twenty-one he was a faculty member of the University of Edinburgh; by age twenty-eight he had invented the telephone.

From Scotland to Canada to the United States, Alexander Graham Bell was a visionary who contributed to essentially every technological innovation of his time. His lifelong fascination with voice and sound and his tireless efforts on behalf of the deaf and mute truly made him one of the greatest scientists and humanitarians of the nineteenth century.

Leonard Everett Fisher's straightforward account of Bell's life will serve as a wonderful introduction to young readers of the impact Bell and his many inventions continue to have on daily life, more than one hundred years later.

Author Notes

Leonard Everett Fisher is a well-known and prolific author and illustrator of children's books. He has also written for adults and created illustrations for magazines. In addition, Fisher was dean of the Whitney School of Art and a visiting professor at a number of schools.

Fisher was born in 1927 in the Bronx, New York, and started to draw as a small child. After graduating from high school, he studied at Brooklyn College and then entered the army where he worked with a mapmaker. He holds a B.F.A. and a M.F.A. from Yale University.

The first book that Fisher illustrated was The Exploits of Xenophon, written by Geoffrey Household and published in 1955. Fisher then illustrated and wrote numerous books himself. He is well known for the Colonial Americans series, for the Nineteenth-Century America series for young adults, and for many other nonfiction works. He has written two works for adults-Masterpieces of American Painting (1985) and Remington and Russell (1986).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. Another in Fisher's series of illustrated biographies, including Gandhi, Galileo, and Marie Curie, this large-format book surveys the life and significant work of Alexander Graham Bell. Well-composed acrylic paintings in black, white, and many shades of gray include scenes from the inventor's life as well as a full-page portrait. There are also pictures of the original diagrams for the telephone patent and a chart of visible speech, a voice-teaching system perfected by Bell's father and studied by Bell. Readers will come away with a knowledge of the man's family, his career, his achievements, and his world. Written with dignity and without concessions to limited vocabulary, this clear, concise biography will appeal to readers of any age who want a straightforward introduction to Bell. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0689816073Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Featuring his signature, black-and-white acrylic paintings, Fisher's (Gandhi; Marie Curie) latest picture-book biography carefully charts Alexander Graham Bell's (1847¬Ď1922) career as educator and inventor. On most spreads, the copious text is set into the gray backdrop of the crisp, large-scale art, giving the volume a strikingly sophisticated look. But while the descriptions of Bell's tireless experiments will well serve youngsters researching his life, the text will prove slow-going for the casual reader. The writing is dense: on just one page, for example, Fisher discusses the influence of Morse code, Bell's grandfather, Bell's prodigious stint as a university student and his father's "Visible Speech" voice-teaching system. Only indirectly and intermittently does Bell's personality emerge. Readers learn that "Aleck" Bell was so involved in pursuing his future wife, the deaf daughter of a Boston lawyer who invested in his work on the telephone, that he failed to submit his patent application for the phone (the exasperated investor and father-in-law-to-be filed the papers himself). When Bell's newborn son dies, apparently of lung failure, "Aleck consoled his family, which now included daughters, Elsie and Marian, and secluded himself in his laboratory"; more text is devoted to his subsequent invention of the "vacuum jacket," a precursor of the iron lung, than to his family's or his own reaction to the tragedy. Readers will come away awed by Bell's visionary achievements, but will find the technological breakthroughs themselves difficult to absorb. Ages 7-12. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Even in the age of the information superhighway, the inventor of the telephone still elicits a fair amount of attention. Fisher's biography does an adequate job of describing Bell's early life in Scotland, his interest in teaching the deaf, and his eventual emigration with his family to Canada. The rest of the book recounts his work on the telephone, plus other inventions, such as a metal detector and an artificial breathing apparatus, a precursor to the iron lung. The book is replete with the black-and-white acrylic paintings for which Fisher is so widely admired. Like his picture-book biographies on Galileo (1992) and Gutenberg (1993, both Macmillan), this title provides an overview of an individual's life and achievements without intimidating young readers.-Carol Fazioli, The Brearley School, New York City, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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