Road Trip! Camping with the Four Vagabonds: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs

Astra/Calkins Creek. Oct. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781684372720.
Gr 3-6–An entertaining and informative picture book describing the camping adventures of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, John Burroughs, and Harvey Firestone. These famous men formed a friendship and shared a great love of the outdoors, calling themselves the Four Vagabonds. Their famous road trips inspired other Americans to discover the treasures in nature with a then new favorite pastime—recreational camping. The illustrations are bright and detailed with humorous speech bubbles in some panels and the four friends depicted as amusing caricatures. The afterword includes a detailed history of these four fellows, where they traveled, and why their adventures eventually came to an end. There are also photographs of the camping trips, their firsthand accounts, as well as accounts from some of the people they met on their trips. A detailed resource list is included for further research.
VERDICT This is a dynamic and engaging book to complement units on inventors, nature, and camping. It is sure to spark further exploration of these famous men in history, and presents quite a contrast with what young people know of today’s founders and start-up entrepreneurs.

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