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Children's LiteratureGeared toward the educational market, this story about the history of the telephone is put in context to the history of the times and an explanation of how its invention has changed our lives. Although, of course, Alexander Graham Bell is included, other scientists and inventors are also given their due as being instrumental in developing the technology that so vastly improved our ability to communicate with one another. Part of the "Fact Finder" series, the book includes a mix of black-and-white and color photographs and illustrations, including some wonderful historic photos that convey the excitement of invention. It is interesting to see the shift to color photos as a parallel to more up-to-date and fully feature phones. For the young researcher, there is also a glossary, index, page of "Fast Facts," further reading list, and guide to a related website, www.facthound.com. Greg Russell, a telecommunications history professor, served as a consultant to the book. For the hands-on learner, there is an age-old exercise of making a phone of one's own out of paper cups and a string. 2004, Capstone Press, Ages 7 to 10.
— Susan Schott Karr