The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison

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Pub Date Mar 21 2023 | Archive Date Apr 10 2023

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From New York Times bestselling author and news anchor Raymond Arroyo comes the first book in the Turnabout Tales series—a picture book biography of one of America’s most famous inventors, Thomas Alva Edison, and a story about never giving up.

No one thought much of young Thomas Alva Edison. He couldn’t focus at school and caused trouble around the house. But where others saw a distracted and mischievous boy, his mother saw imagination and curiosity. At only seven years old, Al, as he was called as a young child, was educated by his mother at home, who understood his potential could be unlocked with non-conventional learning, allowing him freedom to explore, dream, and be inquisitive. Those early years of encouragement, motivation, and loving guidance shaped Al’s future and formed the courageous man who would apply those valuable lessons to inventing the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the light bulb, and more.

In The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison readers will:

  • meet the larger-than-life personality of Thomas Alva Edison
  • hear an inspiring tale of how taking chances, failures, and struggles can lead to success and achievements
  • learn about the power of curiosity and imagination
  • see the importance of the words “Never give up!”
  • take a carefully researched and actively told romp through history

The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison:

  • includes an annotated list of resources and suggested reading
  • features realistic illustrations by artist Kristina Gehrmann
  • contains an author’s note by Raymond Arroyo, the author of the bestselling The Spider Who Saved Christmas
  • makes a great back-to-school gift for young readers and teachers

The Turnabout Tales series highlights little-known yet fascinating stories of historical figures who went from underdog to hero, and the adults who inspired them to be true to themselves and do big things that changed the world.

From New York Times bestselling author and news anchor Raymond Arroyo comes the first book in the Turnabout Tales series—a picture book biography of one of America’s most famous inventors, Thomas...

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ISBN 9780310799238
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 7 members

Featured Reviews

The illustrations are what make this book a fun read. The story itself is great too though! I liked how it centered on his younger years. Some books on Edison that are for children tend to be more about his adult life and his many inventions. This book shows how Edison was as a child and the influence his parents, especially his mother, had on him. It was interesting to read about some of his first experiments and how they went wrong. There is a mention of him getting spanked over something he did wrong that seemed a bit out of place. I'm sure he got in trouble but didn't think that fit to well with what the writer was trying to show. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am spreading the word that it is worth having a copy of. Especially for children who enjoy Science or experiments or who are wanting to learn more about Edisons growing up years.

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The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison is honestly one of the best kids books on a historical figure that I've seen recently. I would definitely recommend it for young readers.

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The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison shows the curiosity and experiments that created the genius inventor many are familiar with. I loved the angle of showing Edison's family life and the faith his mother had in him. Where the world saw a misfit, she saw brilliance. This book had such a clever way of being relatable to kids. It was a delight for my biography-loving kiddo, and it brought tears to my mama eyes. Highly recommend.

Thank you to Zonderkidz and NetGalley for providing an advance reader copy for me to review! We loved it.

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What a wonderful book! The story of Thomas Edison's early life is often skipped over when telling children of his inventions and crew of inventors and engineers. This book delves into the source of Edison's creativity and how his early life shaped his ideas (and his stubbornness). The illustrations are wonderful as well, giving the reader a greater understanding of the timeline by showing Edison's growth, physically and mentally, through this early-life story.

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A wonderful biography story for young readers to be introduced to Thomas Alva Edison. I even learned things about him I didn't know -- as an adult reader! The illustrations are lovely. Would definitely recommend this book. And I'm interested in finding more titles in this series!

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