Cover image for So you want to be an inventor?
Title:
So you want to be an inventor?
Author:
St. George, Judith, 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : [Penguin], 2002.
Physical Description:
53 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Summary:
Presents some of the characteristics of inventors by describing the inventions of people such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Eli Whitney.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
840 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 0.5 59144.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.8 2 Quiz: 31811 Guided reading level: S.
Genre:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780399235931

9780142404607
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

St. George and Small, the Caldecott Medal-winning team who created So You Want to Be President? , are back with another spirited and witty look at history-this time focusing on the inventors and inventions who have given us lightbulbs, automobiles, and all the other things that keep the world humming.

So You Want to Be an Inventor? features some of the world's best-known inventors-Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Eli Whitney-as well as lesser-known geniuses like Georges de Mestral (inventor of Velcro), Wilhelm Roentgen (inventor of X rays), and Hedy Lamarr (inventor of a system that became the basis for satellite communication-who knew?). Whether you're a dreamer or a loner, a copycat or a daredevil, this book might just inspire readers to invent something that could change the world!


Author Notes

Judith St. George (born 1931) was an American author, most famous for writing So You Want to Be President? Author and illustrator David Small was awarded the 2001 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in the book. St. George wrote more than 40 books, most were historical fiction. She was born in Westfield, NJ and graduated from Smith College.

Saint George died on June 10, 2015; she was 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. Lively energy infuses the work of this award-winning team. Indeed, there is at least one exclamation point on every page as they introduce all manner of interesting inventions. St. George strings her narrative together by noting characteristics of inventors: be a dreamer like Alexander Graham Bell; be stubborn like Charles Goodyear; find a need and fill it, like Cyrus McCormick. She also illustrates unintended consequences, such as the way the cotton gin promoted slavery. However, by including the line, "Inventors aren't all men!" she perpetrates an unintended consequence of her own. Of the 40-odd inventors noted, only three are women, including film star Hedy Lamarr, who helped invent wireless technology. That small number is misleading as those familiar with Ethlie Ann Vare's Mothers of Invention: Forgotten Women and their Unforgettable Ideas (1988) will know. Small's ink, watercolor, and pastel chalk illustrations have the same waggish charm as his Caldecott-winning So You Want to Be President? (2001). Gutenberg watches the pages fly off his printing press into the hands of Renaissance readers; Georges de Mestral sees visions of Velcro in the cockleburs stuck to his wool pants. A bibliography and biographical notes are appended. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido


Publisher's Weekly Review

With a lighthearted style similar to the collaborators' Caldecott Medal-winning So You Want to Be President?, this volume furnishes brief sketches of inventors and inventions both famous and little-known. As she did in the earlier volume, St. George invites readers into her exclamation point-studded narrative and introduces many of the clever contraptions with snippets of advice: "If you want to be an inventor, be a dreamer" and "Don't worry if people laugh at you." The latter remark leads into mention of "Fulton's Folly," Robert Fulton's widely mocked steamboat: "But the laughter lost steam in 1807 when Robert's Clermont chugged up the Hudson River from New York to Albany with paddle wheels churning and flags waving." Some readers may miss the kinds of details that tantalizingly cluttered the pages in the previous volume (here, Alexander Graham Bell's invention gets one paragraph: "When he grew up, he dreamed of people talking across distances maybe by electric signals. Electric signals it was!", leaving Small with less fodder for his portraits). Still, she includes intriguing tidbits, such as the fact that glamorous actress Hedy Lamarr, who fled Austria before WWII, worked with a friend to invent a system for guiding torpedoes by radio signals ("Her goal? Beat Hitler!"). Humorous touches infuse Small's illustrations (for Franz Vester's invention of a coffin with an escape hatch, the artist shows a hand reaching out of the grave as guests depart the funeral); readers will particularly cotton to his caricatures of such luminaries as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. All ages. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-St. George and Small take a skewed, funny, and informative look at the history of inventions and their inventors and what it takes to become one. You don't need white hair and wrinkles, la the classic image of Ben Franklin. At 12, while still a rosy boy, he invented swim paddles for his hands and kick paddles for his feet. Being stubborn as a bulldog can help: Charles Goodyear spent 10 years messing about with raw rubber, bankrupting himself and going to debtor's prison, before he discovered the secret-sulfur-to making tires, tennis balls, etc. Elijah McCoy (the "real McCoy") invented an oil can that lubricated engines while still running and became not only an innovator but also an idiom. In brief sketches of nearly four dozen dreamers, from Henry Ford to Hedy Lamarr (who helped invent a system that became the basis for satellite communication), the message is simple: "There will always be barriers to be broken-. It takes passion and heart, but those barriers could be broken by you!" Small's lively, fluid caricatures make for a winning collaboration from the duo who brought us So You Want to Be President? (Philomel, 2000).-Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.