The Diamond and the Boy: The Creation of Diamonds & The Life of H. Tracy Hall

The Diamond and the Boy: The Creation of Diamonds & The Life of H. Tracy Hall


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Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the Boy follows the stories of both natural diamond creation and the life of H. Tracy Hall, the inventor of a revolutionary diamond-making machine. Perfect for fans of Rosie Revere, Engineer, and On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein.

Before a diamond is a gem, it’s a common gray rock called graphite. Through an intense trial of heat and pressure, it changes into one of the most valuable stones in the world.

Before Tracy Hall was an inventor, he was a boy—born into poverty, bullied by peers, forced to work at an early age. However, through education and experimentation, he became one of the brightest innovators of the twentieth century, eventually building a revolutionary machine that makes diamonds.

From debut author Hannah Holt—the granddaughter of Tracy Hall—and illustrator Jay Fleck comes this fascinating in-depth portrait of both rock and man.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062659033
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 475,635
Product dimensions: 9.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Hannah Holt is an engineer and award-winning writer. Some of her favorite childhood memories are of reading stories with her grandpa, Tracy Hall. Hannah thinks great stories and good memories are the best kinds of treasures. She lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. The Diamond and the Boy is her first picture book. She can be found online at

Jay Fleck drew a lot as a child but grew up to pursue other things, like a degree in computer engineering. He found a renewed interest in art while living in Chicago, inspired by the art and culture found throughout the city. Jay is the author-illustrator of Tilly & Tank and the illustrator of a number of other children’s books. He now resides in a suburb south of Chicago with his wife, two children, and loyal dog, Otis. He spends his spare time running, reading, and daydreaming. He can be found online at

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The Diamond and the Boy: The Creation of Diamonds & The Life of H. Tracy Hall 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
NVCrittenden More than 1 year ago
This is the story of a young boy who did not crush under the pressure of a hard life but instead turned that adversity into brilliance, just as graphite turns into a diamond over time. Full of fascinating information and beautiful imagery, The Diamond and the Boy is a testament to persistence and determination.
TeresaR More than 1 year ago
Lyrical yet technical, The Diamond and the Boy is a picture book that encompasses both a gripping human struggle and the scientific process of creating a new material. The fact that it is based on the life of the author’s grandfather makes it all the more special. Side-by-side illustrations in each spread effectively compares and contrasts the geologic with the personal storyline. Hannah Holt successfully brings us a spellbinding story that is both entertaining and heartwarming.
ReaderWriterEducator More than 1 year ago
This story has a really interesting structure - parallel stories of the boy and the diamond, using many of same words for both, side by side on each spread. The careful crafting using multiple meanings of words/contexts is very well done and the juxtaposition of two very different things is thought provoking. As a writer I think the structure of a narrative can impact understanding without any words. Kids will be surprised to learn how a man replicated the forces of nature to produce a diamond.
JessicaOliveros More than 1 year ago
This is such a brilliant book on so many levels. First, the side-by-side layout is unlike anything I've seen before in a picture book. The author tells two stories--the story of the graphite (on the left) and the story of Tracy Hall (on the right). Then, the beautiful, lyrical language, some of it an echo between the two stories, clearly illustrates the parallels between the graphite and Tracy. The illustrations suit the story well--of a boy who as a poor child loved books and outscored the 12th graders, then went on to invent a machine that turned dust into diamonds. The back matter is fascinating--as concerns that diamond industry as well as the author's own personal connection to Tracy Hall (her grandfather). A stunning book that will not soon leave my mind.