Radio Boy

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( 6 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780689802959: Radio Boy

In Murray, Kentucky, during the 1870s, young Nathan B. Stubblefield dreams of telephones without wires, and his clever backyard experiments may lead someday to the invention of the radio.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3?Young Nathan is fascinated by electricity and the rural Kentucky townsfolk are fascinated by his constant tinkering and experimenting. He shows one townsman, Mr. Gainey, how wire can carry sound, and a few years later he fixes a crackling telephone belonging to Mr. Gainey's cousin from St. Louis. Nathan's success is celebrated by the whole town, but he is looking forward to making a wireless telephone. This is a quiet story filled with images of a bygone country lifestyle. Near Nathan's house is a pigeon roost where thousands of passenger pigeons sleep and the images of these now-extinct birds emphasize just how much life has changed both naturally and technologically. While primary-grade teachers will find this a fine additional source for units on communities, inventions, or history, there is not much tension or action in the plot. The pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations excel in re-creating the town and rural life of the mid 1800s. Several small detailed scenes are often grouped on a page opposite a more dramatic full-page illustration. An author's note explains that while the story is fiction, it is based on the life of the inventor Nathan Stubblefield, 1860-1928. Budding historians will enjoy contrasting Nathan's life with theirs and may want to learn more about the real Stubblefield after reading this story.?Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 5^-8. Although this fictionalized account of the life of "boy inventor" Nathan B. Stubblefield is attractive and entertaining, it is short on substance. Readers learn more about life in a small Kentucky town in the 1870s than about the accomplishments of Stubblefield. Indeed, the story ends before the "radio boy" ever invents the radio. Were it not for an appended note briefly describing Stubblefield's inventions, children would be left with the impression that Nathan's biggest accomplishment was fixing a broken telephone for his neighbor's cousin in St. Louis. Still, the story may inspire youngsters to look elsewhere for hard facts, and teachers will find the book an appealing complement to a social studies unit, with colorful watercolors that capture the spirit and flavor of the 1800s. Lauren Peterson

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