________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007

cover

Did You Invent the Phone Alone, Alexander Graham Bell? (Science SuperGiants).

Melvin & Gilda Berger. Illustrated by Brandon Dorman.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2007.
48 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-0-439-83381-3.

Subject Headings:
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922-Juvenile literature.
Inventors-United States-Biography.
Telephone-History.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

excerpt:

Aleck had a loud, booming voice. Yet his mother could not hear him, even through a hearing tube that she held to her ear. One day, Aleck had a great idea. He held his mouth close to his mother’s forehead and talked loudly. The bones of her head carried the sound into her ear, and she heard what he said. From this experience, Aleck learned more about how sound travels and how sounds reach the ear.

As indicated by the table of contents, this book, part of the “Science SuperGiants” series, is written in question and answer format and includes a time line (from 1847-1922) and an index. The book begins with a page-long chapter about Bell’s claim to fame, followed by biographical information arranged chronologically. Bell’s biography is interrupted twice: once by the inclusion of two brief experiments on sound waves - one of them rather lame - and the second time by a simple, age-appropriate explanation of how a voice travels via telephone. These chapters could have been placed at the end of the book to sustain the flow of information. The authors discuss Bell’s family background, his early experiments, his move to the United States from Scotland and his work with the deaf. Bell’s association with Thomas Watson, a man whose knowledge of electricity was instrumental to Bell’s success as an inventor, the formation of the Bell Telephone Company, and the impact that the phone has had on society are also detailed.
               
     Despite the fact that authors Melvin and Gilda Berger write in fairly short sentences for the benefit of readers who are beginning to read independently, their text is quite lively and sustains readers’ interest. (Just an aside: there is a typo in the table of contents.) Plenty of illustrations, all suitably labeled, enhance the text. They include colour photos, black-and-white archival photos (some of them showing Bell’s journals with diagrams of his inventions), and pen-and-ink sketches.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW |TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - October 26, 2007.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME