From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10ATracing the achievements of innovators from the 18th century to the present, Sullivan presents a range of creative people, and places each story within the context of the struggle for equal rights and opportunities. While some of the 25 entries are standards (Benjamin Banneker), others are less well-known (David Nelson Crosthwait, Jr., Jane Cooke Wright). Unfortunately, this title focuses primarily on men; only three women are included. On many levels, however, it succeeds. In each biographical sketch, sidebars highlight specific parts of the inventor's story, often expanding on the inventions or relating a personal anecdote. Definitions appear in the margins, enabling readers to grasp the often technical nature of these innnovations. Black-and-white photos and illustrations supplement the text. A worthy companion to Jim Haskins's Outward Dreams (Walker, 1991) and Robert C. Hayden's Nine African-American Inventors (21st Century Bks., 1992).ACarol Fazioli, Cardinal Hayes Library, Manhattan College, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5^-8. Although some of these inventors have had individual books written about them (Benjamin Banneker) and others have been included in other collective biographies (especially Madame C. J. Walker), there is enough variety and range to make this a worthwhile purchase. It is also a particularly engaging book to read; Sullivan highlights those aspects of the subjects' lives that will interest readers the most and writes about them with insight. The book is attractive, too, with lots of historical engravings and photographs. Among the people profiled in the two-or three-page spreads are Garrett Morgan, who invented the gas mask; Dr. Charles Drew, who did pioneering research in blood donation; and John Moon, who developed floppy disks. Chronology; notes; bibliography. Ilene Cooper