Inspirational biographical story of inventor, Lonnie Johnson. Lonnie's most popular invention is the super-soaker water gun.
From School Library Journal:
As a child, Lonnie Johnson was a "tinkerer," or an avid collector of pieces and parts--all things that were considered scrap but that to Johnson were perfectly ripe for new applications. Early projects included rockets, a robot, and a powerful sound system for parties. Johnson's engineering degree took him to NASA, where he worked on the Galileo orbiter and probe. What Johnson really wanted to do, however, was build his own inventions. When trying to find an environmentally friendly solution to refrigerator and air-conditioning cooling systems, he stumbled upon what would eventually become his opus, the Super Soaker. Readers follow the many obstacles and setbacks Johnson experienced as he tirelessly worked to launch his invention. The narrative--based primarily on personal interviews the author had with Johnson--adeptly captures the passion and dedication necessary to be an engineer. The cartoonlike illustrations, rendered digitally with Manga Studio, combine child appeal with enough realism to accurately convey various scientific elements. Great care is taken to portray the institutional racism Johnson experienced, such as school tests that tried to dissuade his interest in engineering and his competing in a 1968 science fair in the newly desegregated but unwelcoming University of Alabama. The author's note explains Barton's mission to diversify common perceptions of what scientists and engineers look like and who they can be. This engaging and informative picture book exploration of Johnson's life succeeds in that right. VERDICT Highly recommended for STEM and maker collections.
I have designed 12 book extension activities for this book:
Making Connections Pre-Reading
I Wonder (Formulating Questions)
Compare and Contrast (Lonnie and You)
All About Lonnie
Making Connections – Text to Self
Making Connections – Text to Text
Making Connections – Text to World
3-2-1 Writing Activity