Based on the print title, published in 2011, this book app is an inspirational read for kids ages 8 and up. It is absolutely packed with top notch educational content, presented in an intuitive app that is polished and engaging. Text can be read or listened to, although the reading level is roughly for ages 8-12+. The print title retails for nearly $20, so this app is also an exceptional value. Older readers, including adults, will enjoy the history, science and inspirational messages found in this digital book.
The structure of this app is fun to explore, with sections that include videos, music and narrated segments about topics like bulling, how the Internet was invented and the nature of genius. The main storybook focuses on Edson Hendricks, an inventor whose life story includes many painful early years, when he was taunted for what would turn out to be true brilliance. His autobiography is wonderful to read, but the app also includes additional sections with videos, music and more.
Overall, this is a phenomenal title that presents non-fiction content in a more modern way, letting kids explore and learn at their own pace, with or without narration. This title would be great for lessons on bullying, the Internet, biography and more. Struggling, older readers will also benefit from having a title tailored to their interests with the option to listen rather than read (although text does not highlight). This is truly a must-download title. My highest recommendation!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Leanne Jones/Anna Mah
Trelawny Consulting Group Ltd.
45 - 60 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 8 - 14 +
From the print title's description on Amazon.com: It's Cool To Be Clever: The story of Edson C. Hendricks, the genius who invented the design for the Internet
IT'S COOL TO BE CLEVER tells the true story of an inquisitive boy in the 1950s who doesn't fit in at school. Edson Hendricks is bullied because he is so smart (people accuse him of getting answers from his father who is the principal) and has red hair. He finds comfort in an imaginary world where he has machine parts, and no internal organs or emotions.
Years later, Edson's strange capacity to think like a machine helps him create a new way for computers to communicate. His "connectionless" network design paves the way for today's Internet.
Author LEANNE JONES is a private investigator living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. At one time, when she was a school teacher, she noticed that children of genius need as much encouragement as anyone else. She became interested in Edson Hendricks's story because of his key role in the greatest invention in the world today. Leanne hopes this book will inspire others who have important ideas that should always be encouraged.
The illustrations of dream-like visions and dynamic gears -- illuminating the mind of a young inventor -- are drawn with magic realism by Anna Mah.