Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Henry Ford and the Model T

Henry Ford and the Model T

Michael O'Hearn
Illustrator:  Keith Wilson , Charles Barnett III , Phil Miller 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0736864800

Henry Ford had been successfully building cars in Detroit, Michigan for four years when he began working on a new project. He wanted to make a car for a different part of American society. Until then he had been making cars which only wealthy, mostly city people, could afford. Not only that but these cars was not the kind of vehicle that the average American could use because the average American did not live in the city.

The kind of car he wanted to make would have to be inexpensive to buy and yet tough. It would have to be able to drive on poor roads and it would have to be easy to repair. By October of 1908 the Model T was on sale. With its $850 price tag it was not cheap but it was still a good deal and people bought them as fast as they were being made. In fact it soon became clear that Ford needed to find a faster way to make his popular little car. What he came up with was the assembly line factory, the first of its kind. He also made sure that his workers were treated fairly and as a result his factories turned out an enormous number of Model Ts. The workers were even paid enough that they could afford to buy their own Model T.

In this interesting and well written graphic novel style title readers will discover how much the development of Henry Ford’s Model T influenced his times. By creating an affordable car for the general public Henry Ford opened up the world for the middle classes, and he also gave his own workers opportunities that they would not have otherwise had. With its well written and carefully researched text and its graphic rich format, this is a book which will certainly attract young readers who have an interest in the past.