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list price: $24.95
also available: eBook
category: Children's Nonfiction
published: Apr 2019
publisher: Orca Book Publishers

How to Become an Accidental Genius

by Frieda Wishinsky & Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Jenn Playford

tagged: inventions, science & technology, discoveries

Don't be afraid to try! Make connections! Be persistent! Ask questions and never take no for an answer! Learn the secrets and amazing stories of successful inventors!
How to Become an Accidental Genius is full of inspiring tales of famous and lesser-known inventors who have changed the world, from George Washington Carver, Mary Anderson (inventor of the windshield wiper) and inventor and actress Hedy Lamarr to Frank Epperson (of Popsicle fame) and Mary Sherman Morgan (The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race). Readers will be amazed at the inventiveness of these geniuses. The book focuses on inventors from North America but includes stories from around the world. Organized into eleven chapters that highlight the qualities inventors have in common, the book also features profiles of inventive kids and teenagers.

About the Authors
Frieda Wishinsky is the international award-winning author of over seventy books. She writes picture books, chapter books, novels and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into many languages. Frieda lives in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit friedawishinsky.com.

Biographies, picture books, cookbooks—Elizabeth MacLeod has written them all and more. She has won many awards for her writing, including the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Nonfiction, as well as Children's Choice awards across Canada. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Jenn Playford has over 20 years experience illustrating creative solutions in the field of editorial, publishing, advertising and product design and her work has been showcased in Communication Arts and How magazine. Some of her clients include Zoomer magazine, Food Illustrated (UK), LA Times, Delta Airlines, United Way, Running Press, Klutz Publishing and Galison/Mudpuppy. Recently her illustrations have been animated into videos for the Royal Bank of Canada and Locallove.ca. Jenn grew up in Europe and Toronto and her international experiences have greatly influenced her, along with a passion for design, fashion and books. She now lives in Victoria, British Columbia with her two children.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
9 to 12
4 to 7
Reading age:
9 to 12
  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Commended, Children's Book Council Best STEM Books
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets—Top Ten
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Books
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
Editorial Reviews

“An inspiring book…Vivid color photographs, a glossary, resources and an index make this a useful reference for deciding on a subject for further research.”

— Youth Services Book Review

“An ingenious exploration of the masterminds who accidentally created great inventions…you will love this.”

— The International Educator

&quotA valuable contribution to the genre…Teachers involved with science fairs will want to share the wisdom of How to Become an Accidental Genius with the young and curious students under their guidance. Highly Recommended.&quot

— CM: Canadian Review of Materials

★ “Engaging and thought provoking, this book is treasure trove of inspirational people and ideas. There is a plethora of terrific black-and-white photographs, lively illustrations, motivating quotes and sidebars packed with additional information.”

— Canadian Children's Book News, Red Leaf Literature title

&quotAn engaging tour of the inspirations behind a host of marvelous inventions.&quot

— Kirkus Reviews

"A fantastic mini-encyclopaedia…Get your thinking caps on, be inspired and you may accidentally stumble onto something when you were thinking of creating something else! This is How to Become an Accidental Genius."

— Resource Links

"With many geniuses included and a good deal of space devoted to illustrations, each introduction is limited in length but usefully concise. An informative overview with an upbeat look and a lively text."

— Booklist

"Here’s hoping books such as this one help to ignite the curiosity and problem-solving skills of future geniuses."

— Quill & Quire

&quotA worthy addition to the pantheon of books on inventors and inventions.&quot

— School Library Journal

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