Picture Book Review (Nonfiction) The Inventor’s Secret

A Nonfiction Picture Book Review by Jean Matthew Hall

The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford is an interesting and engaging nonfiction picture book written by Suzanne Slade, and illustrated (smashingly!) by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. It was published by Charlesbridge in 2015. It contains 48 pages.

BTW—Reinhardt is fast becoming one of my favorite illustrators.

Slade obviously put many hours (How about months, maybe years?) into research. I love that she chose to emphasize the relationship between two famous inventors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. With this approach, we don’t get a full “biography” of either inventor. Instead, we get the meat of their genius and their character. What made them succeed when so many other people failed?

I like the back and forth of the book, too. A page or two about Thomas, then a page or two about Henry.

I also like that she followed their persistence and curiosity through childhood, into adulthood, and on to success.

I find the back matter really interesting. As a former teacher, this is just the kind of information I wanted to inspire my students. Back Matter also includes sources, websites about the two inventors, and a handy comparative timeline.

I guess you’ve figured out that I really like The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford. I highly recommend it for teachers and media experts in upper elementary and middle school. Yes, that’s right. I recommend this book for middle school. It’s inspiring and packed with great info.



Go to Picture Book Builders to learn more about both Suzanne Slade and Jennifer Black Reinhardt. They both have websites, too. Click here. Slade and Reinhardt.




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