A Super Sticky Mistake: The Story of How Harry Coover Accidentally Invented Super Glue!

Maverick Arts. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781848866478.
PreS-Gr 3–This picture book biography spotlights Harry Coover, a white American chemist born in 1917 in Newark, DE, who invented superglue. Coover and his team did not intend to make superglue; they were trying to create a plastic during World War II. However, a mistake occurred during one of the experiments. Coover decided to further study his mistake, which was originally called cyanoacrylate. At first, people were not convinced that superglue was a useful material, but after many years, it became widely used—veterinarians have used it to mend broken bones, medics on battlefields relied on it to block massive blood loss, and engineers used it to mend a space shuttle. At the age of 92, Coover was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Zhai’s colorful illustrations are whimsical. Each page features spare text, making the book accessible for younger readers.
VERDICT A fun, lesser-known story of a very common item, featuring enjoyable visuals. A good addition to a younger reader biography section.

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