The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman


The Reinvention of Edison Thomas

by Jacqueline Houtman

189 pages – ages 8+

Hardcover published by Front Street Press on March 1, 2010

Paperback Published by Boyds Mills Press on September 1, 2012

Eddy is a kid with autism who is super-smart, but has trouble understanding other people. It makes it hard for him to make friends. At first Eddy didn’t want  to be associated with the name Thomas Edison (Eddy’s name is Edison Thomas) but after doing a school research project on Edison, Eddy figures out they have a lot in common. Eddy is a genius and can invent all sorts of things from scraps of machines he finds. Eddy enters the school science fair  and is sure he will win, but he comes in third. After he was disappointed at the science fair, sticky notes with mean messages like “GEEK” and “NERD” appear on his locker. Someone also put a mean sign on his back during the science fair. Eddy is being bullied and he doesn’t know who to call a friend anymore. Justin, who came in 2nd at the science fair tells Eddy that the boy Eddy thinks of as a friend, Mitch, is the one leaving the mean messages and bullying him. Eddy doesn’t know who to trust and if Mitch is the one being a bully, Eddy wonders if he can have friends.

One of the reasons I really like this book is that it is told from the POV of a kid with autism. I thought the character of Eddy was very believable and gave me some information of how a person with autism thinks. I like how the book points out that Eddy is super-smart and shows that just because someone has a “learning disability”, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be geniuses. It also shows how Eddy is very kind and a good person with awesome inventing abilities. I am also glad Eddy finds out who his true friends are. I really like the added RAMs (Random Access Memory [Of Edison Thomas]) that are here and there in the book. They are little facts that pop up here and there to show some of the things Eddy is thinking. I learned some interesting stuff from them (like that platypuses are poisonous). I think books like this one are very important for kids to read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 book worms!fivebooks

Categories: Age 9+

Tags: , , , , , ,

22 replies

  1. I’m glad you reviewed this book Erik. It has been on my shelf of TBR for two years. I’ve picked it up several times and couldn’t get into it for some strange reason — and this is the kind of book I usually review. So, I’m happy to read your review and learn more of what the book is about. Great Review!

  2. That is a brilliant premise for a book! How clever! I’ll have to find this one in our library. Thanks!

  3. It is so important for others to understand something of the world of autism. Until we walk in someone else’s shoes, we cannot demonstrate true understanding. Great to write from inside the main character. Bravo Erik for another great review. P.s. I knew Patricia would be here, as this is one of her campaigns.

  4. This book sounds GREAT! I have several friends with autism so their stories always catch my eye (or ear). I’ll have to check this one out. thanks!

  5. This is making me wish my son was more into reading and I didn’t know platypuses were poisonous.

  6. I agree Erik, this is an important book for kids to read. Children with autism are often targets for bullies, usually because they are not understood. Books like this will help kids understand autism better. Thanks for the great review.

  7. You’ve covered TWO of my favorite things to read about – autism and platypuses. Platypusi? Oh well – off to request this one from my library! Thanks Erik.

  8. Very timely. I just took the kids to Greenfield Village in Detroit this summer where Thomas Edison’s home and workshops have been moved and restored.

  9. I have not heard of this book- but I am always looking for books like this for my classroom library. I have read a few books from the POV of an autistic child or a sibling of an autistic child. They are a great way to gain a greater perspective and to see what life is like for others. Thanks for sharing this one!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: