Lewis Latimer: Engineering Wizard

HarperCollins/Harper. (VIP). Jan. 2021. 112p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062978073.
Gr 3-6–Lewis Howard Latimer (1848–1928) was an African American Civil War veteran, draftsman, engineer, specialist in patent law, and inventor who worked with some of the most famous inventors of his time, including Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. His parents, George and Rebecca Latimer, had risked their lives to escape from a Virginia plantation for Boston, MA. Latimer’s fierce determination allowed him to break through racial barriers. In 1881, while employed at the U.S. Electric Lighting Company, Latimer patented a carbon filament for the incandescent light bulb. This chapter book biography features accessible but richly phrased text and black-and-white illustrations. The text also includes information about other African American trailblazers (such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois), the laws that enabled and perpetuated slavery, the history of African Americans’ military service, and the Industrial Revolution. These additional facts are highlighted in callout boxes within each chapter. The text is honest about Latimer’s struggles, but the overall tone is hopeful and inspiring. This title is simple enough for younger readers, and older readers will appreciate the wealth of information and details. The back matter includes a list of Latimer’s patents, a time line, a list of other African American inventors, a bibliography, and further reading.
VERDICT This chapter book biography provides compelling insight into the life of inventor Lewis Latimer and his scientific contributions. A recommended purchase for most school and public libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing