Monthly Archives: April 2013

Day-Glo Brothers

by Chris Barton
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Category: Biography

Personal Evaluation: What a cool book! The power of Bob and Joe Switzer’s invention is very easily brought to life – the colors get more brilliant as the story goes along and the chemical process is refined. I really liked how the author explained how the bright colors were used in World War II, and how even though Bob did not become a doctor, he was still able to save lives; and how even though Joe did not stay a magician, he was still able to “dazzle crowds”.

What might interest children: Fluorescent colors are everywhere and something we take for granted, but this eye-catching book will make kids think twice, and tuck a few new bits of trivia under their belts, while giving some context to history.

Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain: The Story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce

by Agnieszka Biskup
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

Category: Biography

Personal Evaluation: This was another graphic novel and while the pictures did help tell the story, the author used the flashback device so many times I had trouble keeping everything straight in my head. There was some background information but in general it seemed pretty incomplete and confusing.

What might interest children: Nonfiction can be dry and the pictures and dialogue definitely help make it more interesting. Also, I guess the winter of 1877 was a rough one and started in September, though this was not explained but rather gathered from the pictures and descriptions.

10 Inventors Who Changed the World

by Clive Gifford
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Category: Biography

Personal Evaluation: One thing I really liked about this graphic novel is that it went chronologically and linked each inventor with the next one, so you could see how one’s work affected others down the line, sometimes generations later. It did not provide detailed, easy-to-find information like how many inventions Benjamin Franklin made, but it did give a name to the people behind such inventions as the steam engine and Sputnik. Living in Boston, I was a little disappointed that Frankin’s story only had passing mention of his childhood here. This book also reminds me of the PBS series Connections.

What might interest children: The pictures really do help the story. Each inventor gets either a 2 or 3-page spread (so 4 or 6 pages) to tell their story. There are no quick facts, but extra information at the end of the book, along with a detailed index, and in the top left corner are a row of pictures of the inventors, in order, to let you know where in the timeline you are reading.