Bringing Great Historical Literature into the Classroom:

Bringing Great Historical Literature into the Classroom:

Reading, Writing & History Bringing Great Historical Literature into the Classroom: An Annotated Bibliography for Elementary and Middle Grades Edito...

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Reading, Writing & History

Bringing Great Historical Literature into the Classroom:

An Annotated Bibliography for Elementary and Middle Grades Editors Sasha Lauterbach Librarian, Cambridge Friends School

Marion Reynolds Instructor in Children’s Literature, Tufts University

The books listed in this bibliography have content related to the following eras in United States History according to the National History Standards: Era 2: Colonization and Settlement (1585 – 1763); Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754 – 1820s); Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801 – 1861); Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850 – 1877); Era 6: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870 – 1900); Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890 – 1930); Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929 – 1945); Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s); Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the present) This bibliography was created for Reading, Writing, and History: Bringing Great Historical Literature into the Classroom, a one-day conference for teachers of grades 3 – 8 and school librarians presented by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site on March 17, 2008. This bibliography was funded through History Makers, a professional development program presented by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Education Department in partnership with Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA, supported by a U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant. 2008

Introduction This bibliography was created for teachers and school librarians as a resource for selecting high quality children’s books related to American history – especially for those who wish to integrate the social studies and language arts curriculum in upper elementary and middle grades. In identifying titles for the bibliography, we looked for books that would engage and inspire children – books that provide opportunities for children to identify with events and people in history, and to imagine being history makers themselves. We sought books that represent the highest standards in children’s literature – books with attractive formats, exciting and compelling texts, and vivid illustrations. We included books that exemplify great writing, insight, perspective, wisdom and high standards of scholarship. The criteria for two children’s book awards, the Orbis Pictus Award and the Jane Addams Award, helped establish standards for excellence, as did author James Cross Giblin’s thoughts in Writing Books for Young People on writing lively informational narratives for children. Because of the abundance of outstanding historical literature for children, we limited our selections to books about American history published after the year 2000, with some exceptional titles published before that date. We also decided to spotlight specific historical periods, political movements and notable individuals. There are many picture books included because students of all ages enjoy them and they are excellent for reading aloud. These books serve as accessible introductions to the subject matter and invite further exploration. The bibliography has two parts. Part I focuses on historical figures whose vision and creativity helped to form a new nation and develop its potentials. Part II focuses on the quest for social justice and human rights in America. We have also included an appendix with additional resources for teachers and librarians, including professional journals and information about book awards.


Contents Part I focuses on people in American history whose vision, creativity and determination spurred them to look beyond the prevailing circumstances and attitudes of their own time, and to imagine other possibilities. Each section is arranged by historical figure or topic (more or less chronologically) and then alphabetically by author.

Creating and Strengthening the New Nation……………….…………………………….3 • Founding Fathers and the Constitution • The First Four Presidents • Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Searching the Unknown: Explorers, Adventurers, Astronauts.........................6 • The Lewis and Clark Expedition • Matthew Henson and Polar Exploration • Amelia Earhart and other Female Adventurers • Astronauts and the Race to the Moon Imagining New Possibilities: Scientists, Inventors, Innovators…………………..9 • Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Banneker • Sequoyah • Levi Strauss • Margaret Knight • Elijah McCoy • Alexander Graham Bell • Thomas Alva Edison • George Washington Carver • Wilson Bentley • Madam C. J. Walker • Orville and Wilbur Wright • Albert Einstein Preserving the Web of Life: Naturalists, Environmentalists………………………14 • John James Audubon • John Muir • Rachel Carson Part II focuses on the quest for social justice and equal rights in America. Topics of books in this section include the experiences of people in various racial and ethnic groups, as well as issues such as the displacement of American Indians, slavery, immigration, labor, civil rights, children’s rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. The books are organized by theme and genre, and then alphabetically by author. The appendix provides additional children’s literature resources.

The Quest for Social Justice and Human Rights………………………………………..16 • Nonfiction • Biography and Collective Biographies • Historical Fiction • Poetry The Quest for Equity in Sports………………………………………………………………..38 • Nonfiction • Biography and Collective Biography • Historical Fiction Appendix: Resources for Selecting High-Quality Children’s Literature………..44 • Children’s Book Awards • Criteria for Jane Addams Award • Criteria for Orbis Pictus Award • Professional Journals


Creating and Strengthening the New Nation Founding Fathers and the Constitution Fleming, Thomas. Everybody’s Revolution: A New Look at the People Who Won America’s Freedom New York: Scholastic, 2006; 96 pages. A portrait of the diversity that existed at the time of the American Revolution, and of the people who played leading roles in the struggle for independence. Illustrations, side bars with biographical sketches, quotes from participants, and primary documents contribute to this story. Fradin, Dennis. The Founders: The 39 Stories Behind the U.S. Constitution Illustrated by Michael McCurdy. New York: Walker & Company, 2005; 162 pages. Each founder profiled in three pages with woodcut portraits, maps, and representative scenes. Freedman, Russell. In Defense of Liberty: the Story of America’s Bill of Rights New York: Holiday House, 2003, 196 pages. Proficient readers and teacher resource. The large font, photographs, primary documents and clear writing tell the story of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Fritz, Jean. Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution Illustrated by Tomie de Paola. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1987; 64 pages. A well-researched and lively account of the debates that occurred during the writing and ratification of the Constitution. Includes the full text of the document produced by the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Smith, Lane. John, Paul, George & Ben New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2006; 32 pages. A humorous picture book about five of our country's founding fathers. (Jefferson is included too.) Great for reading aloud. The endnotes set the record straight about which parts are fact and which are fiction.

The First Four Presidents George Washington Giblin, James Cross. George Washington: A Picture Book Biography Illustrated by Michael Dooling. New York: Scholastic, 1992; 47 pages. Well-written and researched account of George Washington's personal life, interests and accomplishments. Handsomely illustrated in full-page oil paintings. Back matter includes important dates, the myth of the cherry tree, a map, Mount Vernon, tributes and monuments. Jurmain, Suzanne Tripp. George Did It Illustrated by Larry Day. New York: Dutton Children’s Books. 2006; 32 pages. “But George did it.” provides a refrain for to describe how Washington stepped in to get the job done in the American Revolution and beyond, despite his nerves and initial reluctance to get involved. A humorous approach with illustrations to match.


St. George, Judith. Take the Lead, George Washington Illustrated by Danielle Powers. New York: Philomel Books. 2005: 48 pages. The humorous picture book is arranged in chapters. The chatty narrative describes a turning point in George Washington’s young adulthood.The back pages contain a short bibliography of the main events in Washington’s life.

John Adams St. George, Judith. John & Abigail Adams: An American Love Story New York: Holiday House, 2001; 136 pages. Using many illustrations, portraits, and primary documents, this book focuses on the lifelong partnership of John and Abigail Adams.

Thomas Jefferson Blumberg, Rhoda. What’s the Deal? Jefferson, Napoleon, and the Louisiana Purchase Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 1998; 144 pages. This book for proficient readers features generous illustrations and clear organization. The narrative discusses the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the political maneuverings of Napoleon and Jefferson that made it possible. Giblin, James Cross. Thomas Jefferson: A Picture Book Biography Illustrated by Michael Dooling. New York: Scholastic, 1994; 47 pages. Picture book format with realistic, full-page illustrations. The narrative deals candidly with issues such as the ownership of slaves in the context of the times. The narrative reveals Jefferson as the complicated person he was. Harness, Cheryl. Thomas Jefferson Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2004; 43 pages. Picture book format with relatively informal narrative. Illustrations and maps interpret the events and provide information about the era. Back matter includes a summary of the “world of Thomas Jefferson.” Venezia, Mike. Thomas Jefferson: Third President 1801-1809 New York: Scholastic, 2004; 32 pages. Series: Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents An introduction to the life of Thomas Jefferson, a man whose ideas helped create a new kind of government and who became the nation’s third president. The narratives in this series are lively. Humorous cartoon drawings are interspersed with more conventional illustrations.

James Madison Santella, Andrew. James Madison Minneapolis, Minnesota: Compass Point Books, 2003; 64 pages. Series: Profiles of Presidents Contemporary book design including photographs, paintings and drawings, sidebars, maps, a glossary and timeline increase the accessibility of the clear text. Venezia, Mike. James Madison: Fourth President New York: Children’s Press, division of Scholastic, 2004; 32 pages. Series: Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents The basic facts of Madison’s accomplishments as president, printed in a primary-sized font. The narratives in this series are lively. Humorous cartoon drawings are interspersed with more conventional illustrations.


Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Cohn, Amy L. Abraham Lincoln Illustrated by David A. Johnson. New York: Scholastic Press, 2002; 40 pages. A charming and sensitive portrait of Lincoln that includes examples of his sense of humor as well as his intelligence, compassion, and leadership abilities. The illustrations are soft, somewhat old-fashioned, but wonderfully expressive. An excellent read-aloud. Freedman, Russell. Lincoln: a Photobiography Illustrated with photographs from the era. New York, N.Y.: Clarion Books, 1987; 150 pages. An excellent and highly recommended biography for older students. It is well-written, thorough, and makes extensive use of Lincoln’s own words. Harness, Cheryl. Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington, 1837-1865 Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society; 42 pages. A picture book biography about Lincoln’s adult life and his presidency. There is a fair amount of text supported by colorful and powerful illustrations that provide many interesting historical details. Includes maps and some of Lincoln’s own words. An excellent introduction to Lincoln and the Civil War. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Abraham Lincoln: Letters from a Slave Girl New York: Winslow Press, 2001; 136 pages. Dear Mr. President series. Although somewhat implausible, this exchange of letters between the fictional Lettie Tucker and Abraham Lincoln is based on careful research. Reveals the experience of plantation life for slaves and Lincoln’s thoughts on emancipation and the Civil War. St. George, Judith. Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln Illustrated by Matt Faulkner. New York: Philomel Books. 2008; 42 pages. This vividly illustrated biography captures Lincoln’s early years as a child and young man. The lively text and illustrations make this an excellent read aloud introduction to Lincoln’s childhood. Sullivan, George. Picturing Lincoln: Famous Photographs that Popularized the President New York: Clarion Books. 2000; 82 pages. This well written book examines some of the famous photographs taken of President Lincoln, including the circumstances under which they were taken and how they were used. Turner, Ann Warren. Abe Lincoln Remembers Illustrated by Wendell Minor. New York: HarperCollins, 2001; 32 pages. A fictionalized picture book biography told in Lincoln’s own voice using spare and poetic language. In this picture book, Lincoln, on the last night of his life, looks back on his life. The illustrations are strong and colorful. Includes an historical note. Winters, Kay. Abe Lincoln: the Boy Who Loved Books Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 2003. A simple and poetic story of Lincoln’s childhood in a picture book with charming and colorful illustrations.


Searching the Unknown: Explorers, Adventurers, Astronauts The Lewis and Clark Expedition Fox, Michael D. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark: the Corps of Discovery and the Exploration of the American Frontier New York: PowerPlus Books, 2005; 112 pages. Series: Library of American Lives and Times. A thorough and engaging account of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. The illustrations include drawings done by American Indians and many images of artifacts and other primary sources. Schanzer, Rosalyn. How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1997; 44 pages. The text is comprised of primary sources – excerpts from letters, notebooks, and journals. The full-color illustrations are large, action-packed and humorous. Blumberg, Rhoda. York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark: an African-American's Part in the Great Expedition New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004; 88 pages. Relates the adventures of York, a slave and "body servant" to William Clark, who journeyed west with the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806. Pringle, Laurence P. American Slave, American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek Books, 2006; 40 pages. A biography of William Clark's personal slave, who provided invaluable assistance to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Fully illustrated. Erdrich, Lise. Sacagawea Illustrated by Julie Buffalohead. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 2003; 40 pages. This is a slightly fictionalized picture book biography of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who helped guide Lewis and Clark. Told from Sacagawea’s perspective. The author is Ojibway and the illustrator Ponca. Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. Bad River Boys: A Meeting of the Lakota Sioux with Lewis and Clark Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth. New York: Holiday House, 2005; 32 pages. Describes an encounter between the Sicangu Lakota and the Lewis and Clark Expedition from the perspective of three boys from the tribe. Full-page illustrations extend the narrative. Lasky, Kathryn. The Journal of Augustus Pelletier/The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804 New York: Scholastic, 2000; 170 pages. Dear America series. A fictional journal kept by a twelve-year-old boy, the youngest member to accompany the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Includes a map of the route and extensive historical notes.


Pringle, Laurence. Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland’s Adventures with Lewis and Clark Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2002; 148 pages. Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition presented from the viewpoint of Lewis’s dog Seaman. Includes quotes from the journals of Lewis and Clark, sidebars and drawings. Edwards, Judith. The Great Expedition of Lewis and Clark by Private Reubin Field, Member of the Corps of Discovery Illustrated by Sally W. Comport. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003; 32 pages. Fictionalized account, told in the voice of a participant, of the difficulties and wonders that were part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Matthew Henson and Polar Exploration Johnson, Dolores. Onward: a Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson Washington. DC: National Geographic, 2006; 64 pages. One in an excellent series. Henson (1866-1955), was an African-American explorer of the Arctic. His expedition with Robert Peary is generally credited with discovering the North Pole in 1909. A large format book with many photographs and maps. Revkin, Andrew C. The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006; 128 pages. Provides a general history of Arctic exploration, current activity, and scientific and geographical information about the North Pole. Generally accessible for proficient readers. Generously illustrated with photographs, drawings, and charts. Weatherford, Carole. I, Mathew Henson: Polar Explorer Illustrated by Eric Velasquez. New York: Walker & Co., 2008; 40 pages A fully illustrated picture book account of this explorer's life and accomplishments. Henson accompanied Robert Peary on seven trips to the Arctic between the years 1891 and 1909. This book is an excellent choice for studying explorers or African-Americans, and for reading aloud.

Amelia Earhart and Other Female Adventurers Atkins, Jeannine. How High Can We Climb: the Story of Women Explorers Illustrated by Dusan Petricic. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2005; 208 pages. Short chapters, graced by Petricic’s lively drawings, profile twelve women explorers of the land and sea. Burleigh, Robert. Free in the Skies Illustrations by Bill Wylie. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 2003; 48 pages. Earhart’s story told in graphic comic book format. Ryan, Pam Munoz. Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride Illustrations by Brian Selznick. New York: Scholastic Press, 1999; 40 pages. Highly recommended. This picture book tells about an actual episode from Earhart’s friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt. The drawings were extensively researched, lending authenticity to the story despite some fictionalized details.


Szabo, Corinne. Sky Pioneer: A Photobiography of Amelia Earhart Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 1997; 64 pages. Highly recommended. A beautifully designed presentation with many photographs, maps and quotes complementing a well-written narrative.

Astronauts and the Race to the Moon Aldrin, Buzz. Reaching for the Moon Illustrations by Wendell Minor. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005; 40 pages. A picture book autobiography by the author tracing his aspirations to excel in all that he took on, his years as a pilot, and his flight to the moon. Very accessible narrative, handsomely illustrated. The character building messages are a bit heavy handed. Brown, Don. One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil Armstrong Illustrations by the author. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1998; 32 pages. A picture book introduction to Armstrong and his walk on the moon. Particularly wellsuited as a read aloud introduction. Burns, Khephra and William Miles. Black Stars in Orbit: NASA’s African American Astronauts San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1995; 72 pages. This history of African-American astronauts profiles the men and women who participated in the NASA program and their flights into space. Illustrated with photographs. Quotes by individual astronauts are interspersed with the text. Schyffert, Bea. The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1999; 77 pages. High interest. This scrapbook-style biography won the Batchelder Honor for science writing. It contains fascinating information about the first mission to the moon from the perspective of Michael Collins. Translated from German. Thimmesh, C. Team Moon: how 400,000 people landed Apollo 11 on the moon Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006; 80 pages. Behind-the-scenes story of the flight directors, camera designers, software experts, suit testers, telescope crew, aerospace technicians, photo developers, engineers and navigators.


Imagining New Possibilities: Scientists, Inventors, Innovators Benjamin Franklin Adler, David A. B. Franklin, Printer New York: Holiday House, 2001; 126 pages. Excellent book design that captures the era in which Franklin lived and worked. The narrative is particularly engaging, including details that highlight Franklin’s personality and accomplishments. Dash, Joan. A Dangerous Engine: Benjamin Franklin from Scientist to Diplomat Illustrated by Dusan Petricic. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. Middle school and above. This highly engaging new biography explores Franklin’s scientific experiments, with a particular focus on electricity. Using the metaphor of the lightning rod, or “dangerous engine,” the second half of the book explores Franklin’s role in the American Revolution. The humorous black-and-white illustrations and lively narrative capture the spirit of Franklin’s life and character. Quotes from Franklin’ writing are incorporated throughout. Fleming, Candace. Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life New York: Athenaeum Books for Young Readers, 2003; 120 pages. The book design of this biography encourages the reader to sample aspects of Franklin’s life and accomplishments, offering an alternative to reading a chronological narrative. The design is particularly well suited for the complexities of Franklin’s life. The writing is often lively. Humorous anecdotes appear throughout. Fritz, Jean. What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? Illustrated by Margot Tomes. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc. 1976; 47 pages. The story of Franklin’s life and accomplishments, written and illustrated with humor and with an eye for interesting anecdotes. No references are listed in the back, although there are several end notes. Giblin, James. The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin Illustrated by Michael Dooling. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000; 48 pages. The book design echoes Franklin’s newspaper. Includes information on important dates, Franklin’s inventions, sayings from Poor Richard’s Almanac, historic sites, and an author’s note. Addresses Benjamin Franklin’s opposition to slavery.

Benjamin Banneker Blue, Rose. Benjamin Banneker: Mathematician and Stargazer Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 2001: 48 pages. Series: Gateway biography. An excellent biography. The author acknowledges that there are incomplete records and there are some things we can’t know for sure. Attention is given to Banneker’s correspondence with Thomas Jefferson and other primary source material. Maupin, Melissa. Benjamin Banneker Chanhassen, MN: The Child’s World, 2000; 40 pages. Journey to Freedom series.


Describes the life and accomplishments of Benjamin Banneker in the fields of science and architecture, and his role as one of the pioneers in promoting equality among all Americans. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Dear Benjamin Banneker Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1994; 32 pages. An exceptionally beautiful picture book and wonderful read-aloud. Covers the main points of Banneker’s life and includes quotes from primary sources.

Sequoyah Dennis, Yvonne Wakim. Sequoyah, 1770?-1843 Mankato, Minn.: Blue Earth Books, 2004; 32 pages. Series: American Indian Biographies. One in a series about American Indians. The format is very attractive and colorful with many illustrations. The captions indicate when the various images were created. The text is clear and engaging, and a useful timeline is included. Rumford, James. Sequoyah: the Man Who Gave his People Writing Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004; 32 pages. A picture book biography about the man who invented a system for writing the Cherokee language. The text is poetic and fairly brief, and the illustrations are bold and colorful. Excellent for reading aloud.

Levi Strauss Ford, Carin T. Levi Strauss: the Man Behind Blue Jeans Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2004; 32 pages. Series: Famous Inventors. Attractive and colorful format and straightforward text. Includes many photos and maps. The story of Strauss’s achievements will help students make connections between the Industrial Revolution and immigration. The California Gold Rush is also part of the story behind the familiar blue jeans.

Margaret Knight Brill, Marlene Targ. Margaret Knight: Girl Inventor Illustrated by Joanne Friar. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 2001; 32 pages. A slightly fictionalized picture book biography about a little-known woman who made her first invention when she was 12. Her life story could also be used in any study of the Industrial Revolution and the history of the textile mills. With charming, colorful illustrations. Very good for reading aloud. McCully, Emily Arnold. Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2006; 32 pages. A slightly fictionalized picture book biography. The lively, colorful illustrations and the accessible text provide a lot of information about the Industrial Revolution and women’s roles in the society of the time. Diagrams of Knight’s inventions are included and the author’s note gives important historical background and sources. Very good for reading aloud.

Elijah McCoy Towle, Wendy. The Real McCoy: the Life of an African-American Inventor


Paintings by W. Clay. New York: Scholastic, 1993; 32 pages. An excellent biography in picture book format. The parents of this important inventor were former slaves who escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad. The painted illustrations are bold, colorful and exciting. Very good for reading aloud.

Alexander Graham Bell Fisher, Leonard Everett. Alexander Graham Bell New York, N.Y.: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1999; 32 pages. In picture book format with a lot of text and powerful painted illustrations in black and white. A very moving story of this remarkable man who was as much a humanitarian as he was an inventor. Among other great deeds, he introduced Helen Keller to Annie Sullivan. Very good for reading aloud. Matthews, Tom. Always Inventing: a Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1999; 64 pages. One of a wonderful series of books by this publisher. An excellent biography that includes valuable scientific information. In an exciting, large format and illustrated with large photos and diagrams of Bell’s life and his inventions. A timeline is included.

Thomas Alva Edison Delano, Marfe Ferguson. Inventing the Future: a Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2002; 64 pages. An excellent biography that includes valuable scientific information. In an exciting, large format and illustrated with large photos and diagrams of Edison’s life and his inventions. A timeline is included. Dooling, Michael. Young Thomas Edison New York: Holiday House, 2005; 32 pages. This beautifully illustrated picture book explores the origins of Edison's scientific genius: his interest in mixing chemicals – sometimes with explosive results - and his difficulty paying attention in school. With illustrations and explanations of some of his inventions. Fandel, Jennifer. The Light Bulb Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 2005; 48 pages. Series: What in the World? This beautifully designed book describes the work of Thomas Alva Edison in creating the incandescent light bulb. The story of Edison’s invention is situated in a larger historical context. Wallace, Joseph. The Lightbulb New York: Atheneum Books for Young People, 1999; 80 pages. Another highly recommended book that profiles Thomas Edison’s quest for safe indoor lighting with