Thematic Reading List: Persistence
Six books that explore how persistence paid off in science, technology, and other inventions.
|Cyrus Field’s Big Dream: the daring effort to lay the first Transatlantic Telegraph Cable
By: Mary Morton Cowan
Cyrus Field had a big dream to connect North America and the United Kingdom with a telegraph line, which would enable instant communication. In the mid-1800s, no one knew if it was possible. That didn’t dissuade Cyrus, who set out to learn about undersea cables and built a network of influential people to raise money and create interest in his project. Cyrus experienced numerous setbacks: many years of delays and failed attempts, millions of dollars lost, suspected sabotage, technological problems, and more. But Cyrus did not give up and forged ahead, ultimately realizing his dream in the summer of 1866.
|The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: the story of Dr. Patricia Bath
By: Julia Finley Mosca
As a girl coming of age during the Civil Rights Movement, Patricia Bath made it her mission to become a doctor. When obstacles like racism, poverty, and sexism threatened this goal, she persevered–brightening the world with a game-changing treatment for blindness.
|Great Engineering Fails
By: Barbara Krasner
No one will argue that engineering takes top talent, but what are the world’s biggest engineering fails? Readers can find out all about them and discover how even fails can sometimes lead to engineering feats.
|How We Got to Now Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
By: Steven Johnson
Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes-from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.
|Up & Down: the Adventures of John Jeffries, first American to fly
Written and illustrated by: Don Brown
This book chronicles the ballooning misadventures of John Jeffries, scientist and aviation pioneer. Swept up by the European ballooning craze of the 1780s, Dr. John Jeffries longed to become the first person to fly across the English Channel. But first he had to outwit a rascally copilot, keep the balloon from bursting, and avoid crashing into the sea. The good doctor’s quick-thinking solutions will surprise young readers–and keep them giggling.
|Women in science: 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world
By: Rachel Ignotofsky
Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and others.