cover image The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford

The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford

Suzanne Slade, illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-58089-667-2

“What’s his secret?” That’s the question dogging Henry Ford as he watches Thomas Edison’s phonograph and incandescent bulb take off, while his own attempts to create steam and gas engines sputter. Slade shifts between the developing careers of both men until, while discussing engines with Edison at a dinner in 1896, Ford gets his answer: “Keep at it!” Edison shouts encouragingly. Reinhardt’s mixed-media artwork includes several lighthearted moments (parallel scenes featuring Edison and Ford as children highlight the explosive results of early failed experiments). Extensive endnotes discuss Slade’s and Reinhardt’s processes and several of the inventions mentioned, along with a time line and source notes. It’s a rewarding look at the importance of persistence, as well as the friendship that developed between these prominent inventors. Ages 6–9. Illustrator’s agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Sept.)