Title, Author, Genre: “Who Was Thomas Alva Edison, Margaret Frith, nonfiction,
Summary: “Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?” by Margaret Frith is a brief yet concise biography
that details the life of Thomas Alva Edison. Even from a young age, Thomas Edison enjoyed
inventing and finding solutions to problems. Perhaps his most famous invention was the
lightbulb. Despite Thomas Edison’s success, Thomas Edison also experienced failures. For
example, Thomas Edison failed to find a way to produce low-grade iron ore by separating it from
rock and sand, but his experience in mining led him to invent an efficient method of pouring a
cement house. Overall, Thomas Edison provided many inventions such as the lightbulb and
phonograph that led to significant progress in technology, but equally importantly lived a life
that can inspire people to stay determined even in the face of failure. The biography provides
multiple line-drawn pictures and pages explaining the context that help the reader better
understand Edison’s life.
Opinion: The most compelling aspect of “Who Was Thomas Alva Edison” was the inclusion of
uncommonly known facts. For example, the book included stories from Edison’s childhood such
as how he gave his neighbor a drink made from worms to see if she would fly. The book is easy
and fun to read. I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in science or entrepreneurship.
The many stories of Edison’s successes and failures can provide inspiration for entrepreneurs to
stay determined and those interested in science to explore a wide variety of topics like Edison
The Cover: I like the cover because it is colorful and representative of Thomas Edison. It
displays Thomas Edison looking at his newly invented lightbulb, which represents the curious
inventor he was. However, behind him are many different chemical substances that can represent
the continuous trial and error that he is less known for doing.