by Andy Russell Bowen
illustrated by Lisa Harvey
A Creative Minds Biography
Finished: Jul. 15 2009
First Published: 1997
Genre: children, biography, non-fiction
Fresh out of patience, the teacher barked at young Fulton to pay attention.
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to the 9yo as part of our history curriculum.
Comments: This is a biography of Robert Fulton told in a narrative story format. It starts with a chapter of Fulton as a boy to allow the reader to relate to him on their own level then moves on to his adulthood obsession with inventing. The book devotes a chapter on Fulton's invention of the submarine and then focuses in on his trials and final success with the steamboat ending with Fulton's untimely death.
Told in a narrative form the book is enjoyable to read and interesting. The black and white drawings are nicely done and richly detailed adding nicely to the text. In all honesty, my 9yo would have rated the book 5/5 as he has now decided he wants to be an inventor when he grows up and wants to read more books about inventors now. So the book certainly struck a chord with him! But I think most people, myself included, will find the book satisfying for the level it is aimed at. Of course, the book is too brief to really get to the know the man and the focus of the book is Fulton's accomplishments rather than his life story. A most suitable book to enjoy learning about Fulton's invention of the first commercially successful steamboat.
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