Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Making Contact!: Marconi Goes Wireless (Great Idea Series)

Making Contact!: Marconi Goes Wireless (Great Idea Series)

Monica Kulling
Illustrator:  Richard Rudnicki 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Tundra Books, 2013   ISBN: 978-1770493780

When he was a little boy Guglielmo Marconi greatly admired Benjamin Franklin, a man who loved to conduct scientific experiments and who also invented many useful things. As Marconi was growing up he read about scientists and learned that a German scientist called Heinrich Hertz discovered radio waves by using “a high-voltage electric spark.” Marconi found this very intriguing. Eager to learn as much as he could about electricity and communication, Marco learned Morse code.

   When Marconi was a young man vacationing in the Alps with his brother, he got the idea of trying to find a way to use radio waves to send a message wirelessly. Such a thing had never been done before and Marconi wanted to be the one who found a way to do it.

   Marconi’s family supported him in his efforts, fixing up some rooms for him to work in and giving him the money he needed to buy equipment. The young man experimented for a long time, trying to find a way to send a radio signal from one room to another using a wireless transmitter and a receiver. He finally managed to achieve his goal in the late summer of 1895. When he tried his experiment outdoors, he saw that his invention could indeed work over long distances. Marconi’s achievement was an extraordinary one and it was just the beginning for the intelligent and diligent young man.

   In this splendid “Great Ideas” title Monica Kulling tells the story of Guglielmo Marconi, whose wireless telegraph had a huge impact on the world. The narrative will capture the interest of young readers and show them how a small kernel of an idea can grow to become an invention of great significance.