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Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
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K-Gr 3β€”It's almost time for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and American architects are hoping to design a star attraction to rival the French Eiffel Tower. Mechanical engineer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. has a daring idea: a huge, round, moving structure made from steel, a new metal unrivalled in both lightness and strength. After overcoming obstacles ranging from mockery to quicksand, Ferris and his team finally complete their wheel, which delights fairgoers and goes on to become a staple of fairgrounds around the world. Librarians familiar with Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City (Random, 2002) already know this story, but the focus here is less on the Chicago World's Fair and more on the process involved in building a mechanical marvel. Details such as why support structures were necessary and how tension wheels work will engage emerging engineers, while those with a less scientific bent can nevertheless appreciate the excitement felt by the Ferris Wheel's very first passengers. The primary story is told in an easy-to-read serif font, and secondary details are added in smaller sans-serif sections. A purple-dominated colour scheme contrasts with occasional greens and yellows. Overall, the modernist look, inherently interesting topic, and strong documentation (including quotations from primary sources) make this title a positive addition, especially those looking to enhance their nonfiction offerings in view of new Common Core standards.β€” L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ

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* "Davis' picture-book bio soars, inspires, and keeps (the pages) ever turning" --Booklist, starred review "The modernist look, inherently interesting topic, and strong documentation...make this title a positive addition." --School Library Journal "Kids who take ferris wheels for granted should find this history eye-opening." --Kirkus "Davis's picture-book account of the Ferris Wheel construction does a first-rate job of capturing the many risks--to civic pride, financial success, and public safety--that attached to the first iteration of what most readers have already enjoyed as a local carnival attraction." --Bulletin "Davis delivers a tense and satisfying underdog story, while Ford creates a stylized 19th-century landscape." --Publishers Weekly "[An] informative and entertaining account." --Wall Street Journal

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