Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eat my dust: Henry Ford's First Race

Eat my dust: Henry Ford's First Race

Monica Kulling
Illustrator:  Richard Walz 
For ages 6 to 8
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2004   ISBN: 978-0375915109

Henry Ford has built himself a car which runs on gas. His neighbors call his machine a "horseless carriage" and they think Henry is "crazy" for driving it around. It is a very simple kind of car as it does not have brakes of any kind. To stop it from rolling away when he parks it, Henry has to tie it up – just like one would have to do with a horse.

At this time most cars are so expensive that only the rich can afford to buy them. Henry wants to build cars that are less expensive so that the average person can buy and own a car of their own. Unfortunately Henry does not have much money and he cannot afford to build his prototype, so he decides to enter a car race. If he wins he will be able to use the prize money to build his new car.

This is the true story about Henry Ford's one and only car race, the results of which would end up changing the world forever. The story was clearly crafted to suit the young beginner reader but it is not simplistic. The text is interesting, and an author's note at the back of the book includes a picture of Henry Ford driving his car in this famous race.

This is one of the titles in the Step into Reading series which includes books written for children at a variety of reading levels from "Ready to Read" four and five year olds to "Ready for Chapters" seven to nine year olds.