Alexander Graham Bell: An Inventive Life by Elizabeth MacLeod (Canada) -(US)
Pages: 32 pages
Finished: Feb. 25, 2010
First Published: 1999
Genre: children, non-fiction, biography
Next time you pick up the phone to call a friend or order a pizza, say thanks to Alexander Graham Bell.
Acquired: Bought and own a copy.
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son as part of our history curriculum.
Comments: This non-fiction book tells the life story of Alexander Graham Bell, skimming the surface of his private life and concentrating on his life as an inventor. Each "chapter" is a two-page spread with one page of text and both pages profusely illustrated with captioned photographs which both illustrate the text and add more information to the text. Written in an engaging style the text is both informative and interesting to read. My son, who currently wants to be an inventor when he grows up, was of course very interested in the book and enjoyed it very much, as did I. I've promised we will take a trip to Brantford this summer to visit the Bell's first home in Canada. For a brief look at Bell's life you couldn't pick a finer book.
Two things did irk me though. One was the use of AGB, for his name after the initial full spelling. Yes, it gets tiring reading the whole name out for an entire book but I would have preferred variations such as Alexander, Bell, Mr. Bell. I substituted the name "Alexander" most of the time I came across AGB and occasionally said the whole name out loud to remind my son of his correct name as I read aloud. The other thing was that the word "deaf" has been replaced by the words "hearing-impaired" except in the name of associations and schools, etc. Deaf is not a bad word and saying someone is "totally hearing-impaired" makes no sense, that's like saying someone is a little bit pregnant. Plus saying that Bell founded an association for the hearing-impaired which *today* is called the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf is taking PC too far. I read the words hearing-impaired a few times when it felt appropriate but mostly I edited and used the word deaf when reading aloud. And just now I've googled it and deaf people actually take offense at being called hearing-impaired! (scroll down to labels)