Cover image for The Edison mystery
The Edison mystery
Gutman, Dan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001.
Physical Description:
201 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Thirteen-year-old Robert "Qwerty" Stevens uses the time machine he finds in his back yard to visit Thomas Edison's workshop in 1879, and there helps develop the electric light bulb, but then needs his sister's help to return to his own time.
Reading Level:
670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 4.0 51862.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.1 8 Quiz: 25517 Guided reading level: P.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



What is in the mysterious wooden box that Thomas Edison buried in his backyard more than a hundred years ago? Why didn't he feel the world was ready for this amazing invention? And after thirteen-year-old Qwerty Stevens digs up the secret box in the twenty-first century, why does the creepy Ashley Quadrel want to get his hands on it so badly? How will Qwerty and his sisters, Barbara and Madison, use Edison's machine to save a life and make history?No need to ask all these questions! Just read Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time: The Edison Mystery, which blends fact and fiction into a thrilling time-travel adventure jammed with surprising twists, eccentric characters, and maybe even a few laughs.

Author Notes

Dan Gutman was born in New York City on October 19, 1955. He received a degree in psychology from Rutgers University in 1977. He started a video game magazine in 1982 called Video Games Player, which later became Computer Games. When the magazine went out of business in 1985, he decided to become a full-time writer. He wrote several non-fiction baseball books for adults, before changing his focus to non-fiction sports books for children. In 1994, he decided to switch to children's fiction. He is the author of the Baseball Card Adventures Series, My Weird School series, My Weird School Daze series, My Weirder School series, and The Genius Files series. In 2014 his title, Texas with Love, which was the fourth book in the Genius Files Series, made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-After a fight with his mother, 13-year-old Qwerty Stevens retreats to the backyard to dig off his bad mood. He unearths what he thinks is an early Thomas Edison phonograph, a not-completely crazy thought as Qwerty lives in what was once the inventor's backyard. To his surprise, though, his find turns out to be a device that sends Qwerty first to Spain, then back in time to Edison's lab, where the inventor is hard at work on the lightbulb. Through a series of mishaps, Qwerty's older sister, the only other person who knows how to work the machine, ends up with him in 1879. The two teens realize they are stuck in the past unless the famous inventor can get them home. The story is chock-full of interesting tidbits about Edison's life, opinions, and staff, and provides a good glimpse of life in the 19th century. In one scenario, Qwerty escapes outside to "shoot some hoops" with Jimmy Naismith and helps "invent" basketball. Gutman includes photos and patent drawings to bring more detail to Edison's work, as well as a subplot involving a man who has a get-rich-quick scheme and follows Qwerty back in time. Overall, this is an entertaining novel that should draw fans of time-travel stories, Gutman's other books, historical fiction, and light fiction. Pass it on to readers who are looking for something good and funny.-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.