CurriConnects Book List - Inventors and Inventions


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Inventors and Inventions
Enjoy these books about inventors throughout history. Some inventors may be lesser known, and some are the typical ones found in curriculum.

Early Elementary Books

Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares - Frank Murphy, (978-0375806216), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 400, ESL level: 2-3
Read about the history of Franklin's inventing the magic squares to amuse himself and learn how to create your own.

Benjamin Franklinstein Meets Thomas Deadison - Matthew McElligott, (978-0399254819), Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, ESL level: 3
When a light bulb company tries to take over the brains and thinking of Philadelphia, Ben comes to the rescue.

Eat My Dust: Henry Ford's First Race - Monica Kulling, (978-0375815102), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 360, ESL level: 2
Henry Ford wanted to use his horseless carriage to win a race so that he could build cars for everyone.

Galileo's Journal - Jeanne Pettenati, (978-1570918797), Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 660, ESL level: 3
The fictionally-created diary talks about the year Galileo made the first telescope and started annotating his observations.

Inventors Making Things Better - Andrew Clements, (978-0817272890), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 450, ESL level: 1 - 2
This short book touches on important inventors and their reasons for trying to create new things.

Leonardo Beautiful Dreamer - Robert Byrd, (978-0525470335), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 1120, ESL level: 4-5
Leonardo da Vinci was the prototype Renaissance man, creating masterpieces of art, critically important inventions, and the study of human anatomy among other things.

Now & Ben - Gene Barretta, (978-0805079173), Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-5, Lexile: 910, ESL level: 4
Many of Franklin's inventions find themselves in today's usage.

So You Want to Be an Inventor? - Judith St. George, (978-0142404607), Non-fiction
Interest level: 2-12, Lexile: 840, ESL level: 3-4
Find out what personal characteristics inventors share.

Starry Messenger - Peter Sis, (978-0374371913), Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-4, Lexile: 830, ESL level: 3
This biography describes the life of Galileo who changed the world's thinking about the earth being the center of the universe.

Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Attack of the Turtle - Drew Carlson, (978-0802853387), Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 640, ESL level: 4
Nathan assists his inventor cousin David Bushnell in creating a wartime submarine.

Brainstorm! The Stories of Twenty American Kid Inventors - Tom Tucker, (978-0374409289), Non-fiction
Interest level: 6-9, Lexile: 1070, ESL level: 3
Learn about the inventions and the children and young adult inventors who created them.

Communication Inventions: From Hieroglyphics to DVDs - Jacqueline Ball, (978-1597161299), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 770, ESL level: 3
Read about the history of communications and the inventive technologies that have enabled them to happen.

Elizabeth Blackwell : First Woman Physician - Tristan Boyer Binns, (978-0531124024), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 950, ESL level: 2
This biography of the first woman physician is an important read in the Great Life Stories series.

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women - Catherine Thimmesh, (978-0618195633), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 960, ESL level: 3
This anecdotal book focuses on interesting inventions and the women who deliberately or accidentally created them.

Great Black Heroes: Five Notable Inventors - Wade Hudson, (978-0590480338), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-5, Lexile: 620, ESL level: 2
The work of five African American inventors described here includes the accomplishments of one woman, Madam Walker, and four men.

Imaginative Inventions: The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Roller Skates, Potato Chips - Charise Mericle Harper, (978-0316347259), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 800, ESL level: 2 - 3
This unique rhymed tome details the account of how items in popular culture came to be invented; foods, appliances, games and toys, and other interesting parts of modern life feature in this wonderful approach to facts!

Isaac Newton - Kathleen Krull, (978-0670059218), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 1000, ESL level: 4-5
Newton's brilliance was tempered by his personal weaknesses, and the time he lived in featured colorful challenges including the plague, the Great Fire of London, and immense political unrest.

The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories about Inventions - Don Wulffson, (978-0141302041), Non-fiction
Interest level: 6-12, Lexile: 1080, ESL level: 3
This unusual alphabetically-arranged book tackles a plethora of inventions from big to small and from old to new by telling the stories of their origins.

The Kids' Invention Book - Arlene Erlbach, (978-0822598442), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 760, ESL level: 2
Children who love to make new things or want to find a creative solution to a problem will enjoy this how-to book which also describes the work of several famous inventors.

Leonardo da Vinci - Kathleen Krull, (978-0670059201), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-12, Lexile: 1010, ESL level: 4-5
This book looks at Da Vinci's notebooks and writings for a peek at his inventions, observations, thoughts, studies, and experiments.

Machines and Inventions - Ian Graham, (978-0531240274), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-5, Lexile: 860, ESL level: 2 - 3
Using a question-and-answer format, this book details interesting facts about several common inventions.

Made in China: Ideas and Inventions from Ancient China - Suzanne Williams, (978-1881896142), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 800, ESL level: 2 - 3
This book describes the effects Chinese inventions have had on things in our world as well as how their inventions helped mold Chinese lives in its uniqueness.

Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor - Emily Arnold McCully, (978-0374348106), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 720, ESL level: 2 - 3
The girl and later, woman, known as Lady Edison, used her little gray cells to create new uses for every day things, insist on patents for her inventions, and create items that would make life easier.

So You Want to be an Inventor - Judith St George, (978-0142404607), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 840, ESL level: 2-3
This book pulls out personal qualities inventors share by examining some of the most famous inventors and talking about some of their more obscure creations.

The Story of Thomas Alva Edison - Margaret Cousins, (978-0613025843), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 950, ESL level: 2 - 3
This short story of Thomas Edison's life shows how he came to be a great inventor.

The Ten Greatest Accidental Inventions - Jack Booth, (978-1554485109), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-7, Lexile: 900, ESL level: 2 - 3
Find out how some inventions started by accident.

Women Inventors 2 - Jean F. Blashfield, (978-0516352763), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 890, ESL level: 2
Read short biographies in this second book about women inventors.

Middle School to Young Adult Books

The Age of Technology: 19th Century American Inventors - David C. King, ed., (978-1878668646), Non-fiction
Interest level: 8-12, Lexile: 1120, ESL level: 4
This book describes important American inventors who have made contributions to the development of technology science.

Cold Light: Creatures, Discoveries, and Inventions That Glow - Anita Sitarski, (978-1590784686), Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-10, Lexile: 1070, ESL level: 4 - 5
Robert Boyle discovered cold light and its many uses during the 1600's.

Currency - Patricia K. Kummer, (978-0531123416), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-9, Lexile: 950, ESL level: 4
This book succinctly describes the history of the development of modern money use in fascinating and historical details.

Louis Pasteur and Pasteurization - Jennifer Fandel, (978-0736878968), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 770, ESL level: 3 - 4
In graphic novel format, this book shows Louis Pasteur's discovery of the process of pasteurization and its impact on stopping the spread of disease.

Motion Pictures - Robyn Conley, (978-0531167359), Non-fiction
Interest level: 6-12, Lexile: 1150, ESL level: 4
This book in the "Inventions That Shaped the World" series explores the history of cameras, moving pictures, and the related changes that resulted in the place movies have in the world today.

World's Weirdest Gadgets - Michelle Nagler, ed., (978-0439417679), Non-fiction
Interest level: 8-12, Lexile: 1150, ESL level: 4 - 5
Ripley's Believe it or Not and Scholastic editors combed the history of the development of strange items to bring eager readers this book about toilet seat lights and leg-powered catamarans, among other interesting oddities.

The Wright Brothers: Inventors of the Airplane - Bernard Ryan Jr., (978-0531122549), Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12, Lexile: 1130, ESL level: 4 - 5
Wilbur and Orville Wright made many trials to get their idea of a flying machine to work.

Books for Mature Teens and Adults

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin Franklin, (978-0486290737), Non-fiction
Interest level: 8-12, ESL level: 4
This autobiography covers Franklin's life, thoughts, inventions, and ideas.