Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Young Thomas Edison, Sterling North details the life of the great American scientist and inventor Thomas Alva Edison from Edison’s birth in Milan, Ohio, and boyhood in Port Huron, Michigan, to his early adult wanderings through the Mississippi River Valley and his later great achievements when his laboratories produced hundreds of practical inventions each year. North profiles the human side of Edison, ultimately presenting him as a great American and humanitarian. He also highlights Edison’s greatest discoveries. Photographs and informative illustrations accompany North’s absorbing biography. He accurately chronicles Edison’s life, with the assistance of materials provided by the several Edison museums located in New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida.

Young Thomas Edison follows a progressive format through its eight chapters. The first two chapters chronicle major events in “Al” Edison’s early years, including childhood pranks, his experimentation with chemicals, his inability to get along with narrow-minded schoolteachers, and the patient encouragement of his parents, both of whom realized his enormous potential. North presents numerous incidents in Edison’s life with a lighthearted touch. Serious events also are described, however, including the accident that contributed to Edison’s deafness and his repeated financial difficulties.

Throughout the book, North clearly demonstrates Edison’s...

(The entire section is 547 words.)