Children's Literature - Lorraine Donohue BonzeletHenry Ford, who was born in the time of horse-drawn-carriages, grew up to create the world’s largest automobile company. He offered inexpensive automobiles to the average household. Gregory documents the life of Ford and his career as an entrepreneur, engineer, businessman, and innovator. The book’s length, large font size, and cover design will appeal to children ages eight to ten. The black and white photos and color illustrations give a feeling for life in the early 1900s. The book starts with a “Find the Truth!” page, which presents two statements, one true and one false. Children are challenged to find the answer in the book. The “Big Truth!” layout shows three model cars designed by Ford, from cars with no roof or windshield to cars that resemble today’s automobile. Gregory provides historical information about Ford’s job history, business decisions, and benefits for employees. The historical information includes words like stockholders, dividends, and unionizing without giving an adequate description. A glossary is provided but the definitions do not offer much clarity for an eight-year-old. The topics are written for an older audience; however, it is likely that the large font and book design will dissuade them. This is a good book for a classroom setting giving the teacher many facts to embellish. This book can be used as the kickoff for topics about history, economics, business, and politics. The book mentions “The Great Depression,” “The Wagner Act,” and “Edison Illuminating Company,” setting the stage for teachers to branch into other topics of interest. This book is part of Scholastic’s “A True Book” series. Reviewer: Lorraine Donohue Bonzelet; Ages 8 to 10.
School Library Journal11/01/2013
Gr 3–6—These volumes all start with two statements, and readers are encouraged to "Find the answer in this book" to discover which one is true. Some of the titles are biographies of famous businessmen (for example, Walt Disney), while others are topical (for example, entrepreneurship), which shows a lack of focus in the series. The length of the books and the large font suggest a younger audience than the content indicates. The writing style is often choppy and stilted (e.g., "No one gets very far by being ignorant….If you studied hard and learned a lot, you're going to do very well"). Chapters are short, with headings, large font, and plenty of captioned photos and reproductions, though some photos are grainy with distorted color. Overall, not an impressive set.
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