The Book Reviews – Website

February 18, 2008

The Story of Thomas Alva Edison

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The Story of Thomas Alva Edison

Author: Margaret Davison

Page Length: 61

Reading Level: 2

Genre: Non-fiction, Biography


PLOT SUMMARY: Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847.  This was a time before telephones, automobiles, movies, and radios.  As a young boy, Tom was inquisitive, which became a detriment to his education.  Because he had so many questions, he became an irritant to his school teacher who told him “his brains were addled!”  This statement infuriated his mother so she pulled Tom out of school and decided to “home school” Tom.  Thomas Edison actually had only three months of formal education. When Tom was nine, he read a book about electricity which changed his life.  At this age, he decided to become an inventor.


REVIEW: Margaret Davidson gives a chronological account of Tom’s life as a young boy who began working at the age of 12 to fund his experiments. An interesting point I learned from the biography was that Tom had an accident at the age of 12 which left him deaf.  However, he learned to read lips and overcame this obstacle. Tom’s life was filled with obstacles but he was successful with his inventions.  The light bulb is what Thomas Edison is most remembered for, but I think it is interesting to see the phenomenal advancements that have been made from his first movie camera—which can now be seen on a small cell phone; and, the phonograph he invented is now a mere song downloaded on an MP 3 player.


I wonder what Tom would think if he know how his inventions had transformed over the past 150 years.


I would suggest this book for boys to read.  It is written at a high interest level, but a low reading level.








REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner


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