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A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison
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A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  112 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
A wizard from the start, Thomas Edison had a thirst for knowledge, taste for mischief, and hunger for discovery—but his success was made possible by his boundless energy. At age fourteen he coined his personal motto: “The More to do, the more to be done,” and then went out and did: picking up skills and knowledge at every turn. When learning about things that existed wasn' ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 3rd 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30 of 230)
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Nov 08, 2010 Kathryn rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
Meh. Some good information here, a nice introduction to Edison but compared to other biographies I've read (such as Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History! or Walt Whitman: Words For America) this one gave me little insight into Edison's individual quirks and elicited no emotional response. UNTIL I got to the end of the Author's Note and OMG, I was truly shocked and horrified regarding his experiments on animals. I ...more
Angela Ricci
"A Wizard form the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison" is the life story of the incredible Thomas Edison. In this entertaining, easily readable book, readers learn about Edison's childhood, life, family, and his inventions. This book highlights the hardships and challenges Edison faced on his journey of becoming a famous inventor. In the story readers watch him grow from a geeky child to an incredible mastermind who had a huge impact on the development of man k ...more
Taylor Horvat
May 03, 2015 Taylor Horvat rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction: I really liked this book because of how encouraging it is. This is a great story about Thomas Edison and his inventions. I especially liked it because it talked a lot about his childhood. This is the age range that the audience of this book will be, which I think makes this an inspiring book for elementary aged students. Another reason I really enjoyed this book and think it would be great for students is that it touched on the fact that Edison was not always the brightest stu ...more
Megan McKenny
Apr 27, 2015 Megan McKenny rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: Overall, an inspiring and informational story about the life of Thomas Edison. The story tells about Tom's life from the time he is small into a great inventor. The story includes actual quotes from Thomas himself and those close to him which is a nice touch. The illustrations are almost cartoon-like, keeping interest and fun in the story for children.

Purpose: This would be a good, inspiring book to use when learning about inventions or for children's personal enjoyment. It w
Lexus Beedy
May 11, 2015 Lexus Beedy rated it it was amazing
Personal reaction:
I came across this book when I was deciding on a historical figure for another class and loved it! The message of this book is that with dedication you can achieve great things. This is a great book for younger readers to learn about Thomas Edison.

I really liked that this biographical picture book of Thomas Edison because it included his flaws and weakness making it seem like he is a real person who didn’t just create these great inventions on his first attempt. This
Katie Rogler
May 11, 2015 Katie Rogler rated it really liked it
This book was a very inspirational. This boom is about the life of the greatest inventor of all time, Thomas Edison. The book was very fun to read and captured my attention right from the start. This book goes onto the childhood, hardships, and eventual success of Thomas Edison. This book would be perfect for a read-aloud in any classroom. The biography would serve as motivation for elementary school kids They are able to see that even the smartest and most successful of people were not always t ...more
Casey Mcguire
Oct 25, 2012 Casey Mcguire rated it liked it
Main Character: Thomas Edison
Setting: The setting takes place in a variety of places, from the farm Edison grew up on to the city of Boston.

Grade/Interest Level: Primary
Reading Level: AD940L
Genre: Biography, Picture Book


A Wizard from the Start, written by Don Brown, gives a biography of Thomas Edison that focuses mostly on Thomas's childhood growing up. As a young boy, Thomas worked on the farm with his father and was pulled out of school by his mother because she didn't like the way his
Cassidy Wheeler
Sep 28, 2016 Cassidy Wheeler rated it it was amazing
A Wizard From The Start is a short biography about Thomas Edison, who created the light bulb. This book takes the reader through Edison's life and how he approached the invention of things. He was curious, and that got him somewhere in life. This book would be great to teach children the importance of being curious, and never stopping even when you think you've reached your goal, there's always more to discover. Best suited for 1st-5th
Paul Farbman
Apr 16, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Second-Third Grade
Shelves: ch-09-biography
I felt that the author presented his biography of Edison in a way that children would admire. Much of the story centers around Edison's life as a child and young man. The direct quotes by Edison used in the story made the book especially authentic.
Barb Keister
Feb 22, 2014 Barb Keister rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Simple picture book about the industrious, curious Thomas Edison. I especially love to share biographies with kids about people whose passions began early in their lives.
Apr 09, 2012 Laura added it
Shelves: edsl-520
Brown, Don. A Wizard form the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison. (2010)

Annotation: From a young age Tomas Edison liked to stay busy and have pklany of things to do. When Tom found an interest in something like the telegraph, he would work at it until he became an expert. Later when Tom moved to Boston, he put away his interst in telegraphs to become a full time inventor.

Themes: Inventions, love of reading, family, goals

Ways to use with children: You can use th
Jun 06, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it
I shouldn't have expected more from a children's book. It was incredibly sparse, but gave a different approach to his middle years than I'd heard.
Kari Huddleston
Mar 29, 2014 Kari Huddleston rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-09-biography
Very informational about thomas esison's life. Great pictures and interesting facts that i have never heard of before.
Kirstin Baker
I would use this book as a twin text to "The Day-Glo Brothers" by Chris Barton.
Shayne Cope
Apr 26, 2014 Shayne Cope rated it liked it
Shelves: ch-09-biography
Depicts Thomas Edison in a positive and great way. Very encouraging for children.
Ms Threlkeld
Interesting information but too much text to hold most kids' attention.
Nov 16, 2011 Matthew rated it really liked it
I was very impressed by this book, though I wasn't overly impressed with its subject. True, he was a hard worker and very dedicated to his cause, but at the same time it seems that he lacked the interpersonal skills that would have made him a tolerable companion in life. It doesn't take anything from his accomplishments, or the book for that matter, but it does give a reader something to be slightly disappointed about in Edison. However, this book has none of these flaws. It's wonderful, beginni ...more
This is a picture book of Edison’s life and inventions, and has great illustrations. Some of Edison’s quotes are mentioned throughout the book. It would be great to use with students if it did not say that Edison invented the light bulb, since did not invent it, but rather he perfected it. This could be addressed with students in why it is important to research and include accurate, quality information.
Dec 27, 2011 Angie rated it liked it
Great description of his childhood as promised by the cover ... but not much more. Liked the illustrations.

And EGADS. Reading the author's note at the end? Trying to compete with Tesla and his AC current Thomas Edison electrocuted an elephant?

Wish I didn't know that. Before today I'd always thought of him as such a creative, hard-working innovator. Now I'm also going to remember that. :[
Diana Hanke
Jan 05, 2011 Diana Hanke rated it liked it
I liked this book. Don Brown does a nice job creating picture book biographies for young children. This one follows the childhood of Thomas Edison. It stresses how reading paved the way for his successful career as an inventor. Don Brown's biographies have appeal for elementary age students grades K - 5.
Mar 26, 2016 Earl rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
An interesting look into the life of Thomas Edison and how his curiosity led him to invent or improve many things. I liked that he seemed practical and was obviously a hard working man. I'm glad that his rivalry with Nikolas Tesla was mentioned (in the back matter).
Aug 28, 2011 Debbie rated it it was amazing
I really liked this story about Thomas Edison. The pictures were sort of loose and free formed, which gave the whole book a more casual feel (biographies sometimes feel so stuffy to me). They made me think of Thomas Edison as a real person.
Amy Carr
Jan 15, 2011 Amy Carr rated it liked it
A good introduction to the childhood of Thomas Edison! Definitely intended for children in lower grades but fascinating information about the experiences and interests he had as a child and young man that led to his great inventions as an adult!
Apr 01, 2012 Teri rated it really liked it
Great children's biography! How can this man not be inspiring, especially for young people?! He was an entrepreneur at such a young age, he wasn't afraid to experiment, he read and read and read, and I appreciate that he was schooled at home.
Teresa Garrett
Nov 22, 2010 Teresa Garrett rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great biography of Edison. Nice picture book format with watercolor paintings. It showed that Edison was not a great student in school but did not let that stop him from going on to do many great things.
I find it interesting to read about the childhood of famous people. Mr. Edison was no exception; it was an interesting story and may be of particular interest to hopeful future inventors.
Colby Sharp
Sep 07, 2011 Colby Sharp rated it liked it
I love picture book biographies, and I like this book. I just don't think that it did anyone thing great. Good illustrations, nice story, kind of interesting, but nothing "Wowed" me.
Apr 16, 2013 Brittany rated it it was ok
This biography illustrates the challenges faced by young Thomas Edison. It is a very inspiring book on how Thomas Edison started his inventions. Great illustration biography.
A brief "storyography" about Thomas Edison's early life and work. I particularly liked the frequent mention of Edison's love for books and reading as key in his success.
Julie Esanu
This biography illustrates the determination and challenges faced by young Thomas Edison and the opportunities he created for himself.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pac
More about Don Brown...

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