Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alfred Nobel: The man behind the prize

Alfred Nobel: The man behind the prize

Kathy-Jo Wargin
Illustrator:  Zachary Pullen 
Non-Fiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009   ISBN: 1585362816

Years ago, when people wanted to build bridges or roads, they had to blast a path for their work using gunpowder - which wasn’t a safe material to work with. One day Alfred Nobel realized that a substance called nitroglycerin might be safer to use than gunpowder.

With the help of his brother and father, Alfred experimented with nitroglycerin until he came up with a solution that he was sure would work. Though his new invention did work well, it still wasn’t as safe as Alfred had hoped it would be. His brother Emil was killed went something went wrong in the lab. Surely there was something else that Alfred could do to make his invention safer still.

Eventually Alfred created something that was safe. It came to be called dynamite and Alfred became a rich and famous man because of his invention. Alfred had hoped that his invention would foster peace, and he was very distressed when he saw that it was being used to harm people. It saddened him to know that many people “saw him as the man who earned his wealth by inventing ways to injure and kill.” Thankfully, Alfred found a way to leave a legacy that would celebrate peace and reward those who gave the world new innovations in science, and who created memorable written works.

This thought provoking and memorable book celebrates the life and achievements of a man


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