The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford

By: Suzanne Slade / Illustrated by: Jennifer Black Reinhardt

From the time they were young, both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were filled with curiosity. Early on, Thomas’s experiments often ended in explosions and fire. Henry’s childhood experiments went similarly awry, leaving him with broken toys and flooded fields.

As the boys grew older, Edison began to see success with his inventions while Ford continued to struggle. Henry was fixated on creating an affordable vehicle, but was discouraged by his lack of success. And all the while, those around him marveled at Thomas’s electric pen, phonograph, and incandescent lightbulb. Henry couldn’t help but wonder what Thomas’s secret was—how did he create so many successful inventions?

Henry finally gets the chance of a lifetime to show his gas-powered vehicle plans to Thomas Edison himself. Will Henry learn the secret to Thomas’s success?

Along with Jennifer Black Reinhardt’s lively, detailed illustrations, Suzanne Slade tells this little-known story of friendship, curiosity, and perseverance. (text from the publisher, Charlesbridge Publishing)



  • 2017 NSTA Best STEM Books List
  • NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
  • 2017 ILLINOIS READS selection
  • 2016 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade  Books for Young People
  • 2017 Ag in the Classroom Featured Book


“… a rewarding look at the importance of persistence, as well as the friendship that developed between these prominent inventors.”

Publishers Weekly


“well executed … a good fit for STEM-oriented as well as storytimes about the benefit of good friendships.”



You can watch the book trailer here: