March 28, 2016
The Inventor’s Secret by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
The Inventor’s Secret:
What Thomas Edison told Henry Ford
by Suzanne Slade
illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Before the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the world was a very different place. But these two men came to be good friends and to understand one all important secret. Because of this secret, the world has been forever changed.
Edison was the older of the two. As a boy he experimented with chemistry and electricity. Explosions rocked his workshop in the basement of his home.
Ford was born sixteen years later. He was curious about how things worked and took about wind-up toys and tinkered with farm machinery. One of his engines exploded and set the school fence on fire.
Edison wanted to use electricity to make people’s lives easier. Ford dreamed of the day that he would build a car that hard working families could afford. As Ford heard about Edison’s successes, he wondered what secret the older man knew that allowed him to succeed at so much. Ford tried and tried but people laughed as his rattling gas buggy. The same people thought Edison’s inventions were great. What was his secret?
Eventually Ford traveled to New York City and got himself invited to a dinner where important businessmen were meeting. Everyone wanted to talk to Edison. Finally Ford made it to the seat next to the inventor. Before too long, the pair were discussing Ford’s car. Edison asked question after question. Finally he shouted, “Keep at it!”
Ford was shocked to realize that he had known Edison’s secret all along.
Slade has done an excellent job bringing these two legendary figures to life for young readers. Her writing is complimented by Reinhardt’s paintings. Her paintings are not photographic in their level of realism but they are detailed to the point that after reading this book you will be able to tell a Model A from a Model T.
Share this book with the science lover or young inventor in your life. Use it as a jumping off point for discussions on the scientific method and the can-do attitude essential to all inventors.