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Inventing Stuff by Ed Sobey

Book Review

Inventing Stuff by Ed Sobey (Dale Seymour, 1996)

Ages 10 and up

Ed Sobey has lots of practical advice for young inventors, and and a nice, respectful tone in his writing that says to a kid, "You are smart enough to make a terrific invention." Inventing Stuff includes a bag full of tricks for boosting creative thinking and strategies for noticing problems and turning them into fodder for invention. Pages are laid out with inspiring sidebar stories about famous inventors and inventions.

The quality of the writing and advice makes this a better inventing book than most. Some illustrations, diagrams, or photos would have been nice, though. Also, the book begins with a long "Note to Parents and Teachers" that completely blows the otherwise lovely "between you and me, kid" tone of the book. The note should have gone in the back and been titled "Stuff your parents and teachers might like to know."

Still, the book has a lot of depth. I can imagine a kid who likes to tinker reading this book again and again, and getting new ideas each time.

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