Tag archives for Inventions
BOOK NAME: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
AUTHOR: Brian Selznick
Have you ever read a book that was a piece of art and a great story at the same time? If not, then you’ll find that The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a great book to try. In fact, it’s such a great book that they made it into a great move too and it has since won several Academy Awards. It is also impressive to say that you read a five hundred page book in one day, as long as you don’t mention that the majority of the book is pictures. However, you’ll find that this novel is like a picture book times a thousand with stunning illustrations, realistic characters, a nostalgic setting, and a mysterious adventure that will keep your eyes glued on the pages.
Hugo Cabret is a boy that lives in a magnificent train station in Paris. This boy’s father used to clean the clocks and make sure they stayed working. Hugo learned everything he knows from his father. He learned something new every day until the day his father died. Not wanting to go to an orphanage, he takes his father’s place so no one would notice his dad was gone. The only thing Hugo’s father left behind (besides his knowledge) was an automaton. An automaton is a complex humanoid “robot”. Hugo suspects his father left a secret message and when he gets it working he will understand.
On his own with no one to support him, Hugo goes through many tribulations, including to resorting to stealing. He steals food from the café, and steals small toys for parts for his automaton. The man who owns these toys catches him stealing and they come to find that they are not complete strangers.
This is a book that I think everyone should read, especially if you want to see the movie. This inspiring book is sure to be an instant classic.
While most six-to-nine-year-old boys spend most of their days studying and playing, Richard Turere of Kenya tried to protect his father’s cows from lions. Richard found the lions “very annoying, because they were killing my father’s cows.” He started thinking up ways to scare away the lions. He tried everything from fires (which only seemed to help the lions) to scarecrows. Yet, the lions would find a way around because they “are very clever,” he says. However, he noticed the most effective way was when he would walk around with a flashlight.
After taking apart his mother’s new radio, he rigged a few simple wires and light bulbs together to create a machine that would flash a series of lights, tricking the lions into thinking someone was walking around with a flashlight. It worked, and soon there were seven other homes in Richard’s community using his “lion lights.”
BOOK NAME: Boneshaker
AUTHOR: Cherie Priest
Rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Russian miners permitted inventor Leviticus Blue to design a machine to mine through the ice. Thus, Dr. Leviticus Blue created his Bone-Shaking Drill machine.
Before using the machine on the ice, it needed a test run. Destroying several blocks in Seattle, the test was a fail. It slowly uncovered an underground toxin gas, known as the Blight, that poisoned the air to the point of turning humans into Rotters.
Sixteen years later, a wall built around the toxic city allows no entrance or exit for humans or Rotters. Dr. Leviticus Blue’s wife, Briar, and his son Ezekiel manage alone, living with the ruined reputation of Leviticus. Becoming increasingly curious and disturbed by his father’s machine test failure, Ezekiel sets out to the toxic city to try and reveal some uncovered past. But when he gets stuck in the city, Briar is the only one who can bring him back to safety.
Boneshaker was a hard read, but worth the time. It’s not very long, but the events that take place in it are very detailed and suspenseful. I wanted to read more every time I sat down to read it, but I needed multiple breaks. It’s one of the best books out there, I assure you. Unfortunately it contains mild language, but besides that–a great read. Gnarly.
Scientists are working on an eco-friendly substance that will help keep oil from sticking to birds during future oil spills. The substance, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and is currently being tested, will act like a laundry detergent; breaking the oil down and keeping it from sticking to birds’ feathers.
BOOK NAME: The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Houtman
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, by Jacqueline Houtman, is the story of a very smart boy named Edison Thomas. Edison, also known as Eddy, hates the name his parents gave him–it makes him sound too much like Thomas Edison. Eddy loves to invent things, and he is confident that he will win the science fair he is competing in. But when he gets 3rd place, he is devastated. Back at school, he suspects that his (former) best friend Mitch is bullying him, and confirms it after a few incidents. You see, Eddy has Asperger’s syndrome, making him very smart but somewhat inept at social interactions. His lack of skill in the social department is what makes him have trouble detecting simple emotions and feelings of others, as well as explaining his lack of friends. Sure, Eddy has a couple of friends, but he has nowhere near as many friends as an average middle-schooler would. One of his friends was the crossing guard at the street leading to the school. After budget cuts, the crossing guard got laid off, and Eddy was concerned about the children crossing the street. Because of his concern and his love for inventing things, Eddy created a machine that would help keep the children safe. Most of the story revolves around this invention and its importance to the storyline.
My favorite part of this novel was Eddy’s personality. People with Asperger’s syndrome have always interested me because of their mental ability, but the way the story was told really let you get inside his head. Eddy doesn’t like loud noises or change. Whenever he gets angry, he says the periodic table of the elements in his head to calm him down, and he refers to all living things by their scientific names in Latin. Sprinkled throughout the book are random facts from Eddy’s brain that give interesting tidbits of information to think about while reading the captivating story. All in all, I recommend this book to kids of all ages, especially those who enjoy math and science.