Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review of Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives by Gene Barretta

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives is Gene Barretta's latest release about Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, electric pen, storage battery, and so much more. It has a similar style to Barretta's other two biographical non-fiction picture books: Neo Leo and Now and Ben. It's not so much a biography as it is a record of Edison's technological achievements. On the surface you might not think that a book about an older man's achievements would be very appealing to young children. You'd be wrong. My girls found it immensely appealing.

Barretta showcases technology that we in the modern world take for granted, things we use everyday without a second thought. He juxtaposes a page showcasing present-day technology with pages showcasing the technology coming out of Edison's lab, showing how those early technological accomplishments made today's technology possible. Fun to read and very informative, with clear and simple text that is easily understood by kids of the target age group. The illustrations provide a perfect visual accompaniment that is immensely appealing.

My nine year old non-fiction-loving Olivia saw it in the Amazon shipment that arrived a few months ago, snatched it up and ran off to her bedroom. (I had pre-ordered it so it would arrive on its release date.) She came back shortly with a huge smile on her face and spent the next twenty minutes telling me everything she learned from the book. She had never before thought about the origins of the technology that she uses daily. The book has gotten a lot of mileage since then. I love great non-fiction picture books.

I nominated this book for the CYBILS 2012 in the Non-Fiction Picture Books category.

Published in July 2012 by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.


  1. I also thought this was a great book, especially for kids who like non-fiction. I even learned a few things when I read it. Your 9 year old has good taste.