Brainstorm!: The Stories of Twenty American Kid Inventors

Overview

Inspiring young inventors, from ages 5 to 19

Of the thousands of inventions filed each year since 1790 with the United States Patent Office, some have come from enterprising kids, and not just those who have grown up to be famous adult inventors. Here are the stories of twenty ingenious young Americans. Among them are Chester Greenwood, creator of ear muffs; Ralph Samuelson, originator of water-skiing; Vanessa Hess and her colored car wax; and Jerrald Spencer, whose electronic ...

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Overview

Inspiring young inventors, from ages 5 to 19

Of the thousands of inventions filed each year since 1790 with the United States Patent Office, some have come from enterprising kids, and not just those who have grown up to be famous adult inventors. Here are the stories of twenty ingenious young Americans. Among them are Chester Greenwood, creator of ear muffs; Ralph Samuelson, originator of water-skiing; Vanessa Hess and her colored car wax; and Jerrald Spencer, whose electronic gizmo has made a line of toys so popular that over five million of them have been sold!

Tom Tucker reveals some of the amazing inventions of the past and present that have come from young Americans, ages eight to 19. The achievements of some of the kid inventors gathered here were prominent once but have become obscure over time; others are relatively unknown.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Victoria Crenson
In this book, Tom Tucker has gathered together an astonishing array of patented inventions, all conceived and developed by young people ages 8 to 19. From earmuffs and water-skis to the popsicle and the resealable cereal box, youthful inventors have come up with ingenious solutions to problems big and small. The stories of these inventors, however, are as much about determination and persistence as they are about good ideas. This makes inspirational reading for any child with creative ambitions. The epilogue includes concrete information about how to apply for a patent.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Seventh-grader Vanessa Hess fabricated a scratch-covering car wax for a science assignment; seven- year-old Maurice Scales built a doorstop to prevent toddlers' mashed fingers for a school-wide contest. Establish your own class or school call for inventions and your youngsters' Brainstorms may also result in as practical products. Tom Tucker profiles Vanessa, Maurice and 18 others in his account of American kid inventors and their useful innovations. Begin with these bright ideas.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Brainstorm features young inventors from colonial to modern times and includes women and minorities. The ideas range from a safety device for power looms to the Popsicle, invented by an 11-year-old boy in 1905. Many inventors in this book started their careers as children and some held patents while still in their teens. Others did not receive their first patent until they were older and were able to raise the money necessary to fund the patenting process. The last chapter explains that process and gives advice on ways to save money on searches. Black-and-white photographs and pen-and-ink drawings show the inventor and/or their inventions. A useful book for encouraging self-expression and the creative process.-Margaret M. Hagel, Norfolk Public Library System, VA
Mary Harris Veeder
Some of the "kid inventors" of the subtitle are quite young; others are below their legal majority, but not really kids. The 20 stories Tucker tells show the passion for creative tinkering in many forms. Drawn from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, they record the invention of such things as earmuffs (1873), Popsicles (1905), waterskiing (1922), and colored car wax (1991). Some readers may be heartened to find out that a few of the kids profiled were considered "vexatious dullards" before they met with success. A concluding section gives good, specific advice for young inventors (and their teachers).
Los Angeles Times
"Engaging and inspiring."
From the Publisher
"A concluding section gives good, specific advice for young inventors (and their teachers)." —Booklist

"Enthusiastic, pleasantly specific, well-researched, and inspiring. Here's proof that serious inventors need not be adults, and that inventions need not be complex, expensive machines to be patentable, marketable, and, sometimes, lucrative." —Kirkus Reviews

"Engaging and inspiring." — Los Angeles Times

"A useful book for encouraging self-expression and the creative process." — School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374309442
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Tucker lives in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. This is his first book.

Richard Loehle has illustrated many books, including The Great American Depression Book of Fun. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

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