Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Who was Thomas Alva Edison?

Who was Thomas Alva Edison?

Margaret Frith
Illustrator:  John O'Brien 
For ages 8 to 12
Penguin, 2005   ISBN: 978-0448437651

From a very early age Thomas, or Al as his family called him, was very curious about the world around him. If Al had a question that he wanted answered he tried to find out the answer himself through investigation and observation. At times this led him to do some highly suspect, even dangerous, activities. For example Al once broke open a bumblebee’s nest to see what it looked like inside and on another occasion he fed worms to a neighbor child to see if she would fly the way birds do after they eat a worm. Needless to say she did not fly and Al got a whipping for his pains.

When he was still a boy Al got a bad case of scarlet fever. He survived the illness but his hearing was damaged and after a time Al’s mother decided Al was better off being educated at home. Al read and read and read, devouring books of all kinds. Books about science particularly interested Al and they set him down a road which would eventually lead to Al becoming one of the greatest and most prolific inventors of all time.

Written in an easy to follow and conversational style, this “Who was... .?” title paints a well rounded and interesting picture of Thomas Alva Edison, his life, and his work. Black pen and ink illustrations break up the text, and boxes containing background information can be found on some of the pages.