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How to Become an Accidental Genius
By (author): Frieda Wishinsky By (author): Elizabeth MacLeod Illustrated by: Jenn Playford
9781459816763 Hardcover, Paper over boards English Juvenile: Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology Apr 02, 2019
$24.95 CAD
Active 7.5 x 9 x 0.75 in | 660 gr 128 pages 120 , 40 Colour illustrations, 1 , 1 Index FSC certified – mixed sources C016245 Orca Book Publishers
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2019, Commended Children's Book Council Best STEM Books 2020, Commended OLA Best Bets—Top Ten 2019, Commended Bank Street College of Education Best Books 2019, Commended Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award 2021, Short-listed
You never know! One day you, too, may become an accidental genius!

Don't be afraid to try! Make connections! Be persistent! Ask questions and never take no for an answer! Learn the secrets and amazing stories of successful inventors!

How to Become an Accidental Genius is full of inspiring tales of famous and lesser-known inventors who have changed the world, from George Washington Carver, Mary Anderson (inventor of the windshield wiper) and inventor and actress Hedy Lamarr to Frank Epperson (of Popsicle fame) and Mary Sherman Morgan (The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race). Readers will be amazed at the inventiveness of these geniuses. The book focuses on inventors from North America but includes stories from around the world. Organized into eleven chapters that highlight the qualities inventors have in common, the book also features profiles of inventive kids and teenagers.

Frieda Wishinsky is the international award-winning author of over seventy books. She writes picture books, chapter books, novels and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into many languages. Frieda lives in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit

Biographies, picture books, cookbooks—Elizabeth MacLeod has written them all and more. She has won many awards for her writing, including the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Nonfiction, as well as Children's Choice awards across Canada. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Jenn Playford has over 20 years experience illustrating creative solutions in the field of editorial, publishing, advertising and product design and her work has been showcased in Communication Arts and How magazine. Some of her clients include Zoomer magazine, Food Illustrated (UK), LA Times, Delta Airlines, United Way, Running Press, Klutz Publishing and Galison/Mudpuppy. Recently her illustrations have been animated into videos for the Royal Bank of Canada and Jenn grew up in Europe and Toronto and her international experiences have greatly influenced her, along with a passion for design, fashion and books. She now lives in Victoria, British Columbia with her two children.

Key Selling Points

Inspiring tales of famous and lesser-known inventors who
have changed the world.

From George Washington Carver to Mary Anderson (inventor of the windshield wiper),
inventor and actress Hedy Lamarr, Frank Epperson of popsicle fame and Mary
Sherman Morgan (“The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race”), including child and
teen inventors.

The inventors are organized into chapters by qualities they share (ex: tenacity, curiosity,

Encourages kids to be curious about the world around them, to be inventive and creative, and to not give up when things don’t work

Authors collaborated on the well-reviewed A History of Just About Everything: 180
Events, People and Inventions That Changed the World
(Aug 2013)

Marketing and Promotional Plans

Print and online advertising campaigns

Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade

Extensive ARC distribution, including LibraryThing Early
Reviewers and NetGalley

Blog and social media promotion

"An engaging tour of the inspirations behind a host of marvelous inventions." - Kirkus Reviews

"A worthy addition to the pantheon of books on inventors and inventions." - School Library Journal

"A fantastic mini-encyclopaedia…Get your thinking caps on, be inspired and you may accidentally stumble onto something when you were thinking of creating something else! This is How to Become an Accidental Genius." - Resource Links

"A valuable contribution to the genre…Teachers involved with science fairs will want to share the wisdom of How to Become an Accidental Genius with the young and curious students under their guidance. Highly Recommended." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"With many geniuses included and a good deal of space devoted to illustrations, each introduction is limited in length but usefully concise. An informative overview with an upbeat look and a lively text." - Booklist

"Here’s hoping books such as this one help to ignite the curiosity and problem-solving skills of future geniuses." - Quill & Quire

“An inspiring book…Vivid color photographs, a glossary, resources and an index make this a useful reference for deciding on a subject for further research.” - Youth Services Book Review

★ “Engaging and thought provoking, this book is treasure trove of inspirational people and ideas. There is a plethora of terrific black-and-white photographs, lively illustrations, motivating quotes and sidebars packed with additional information.”

- Canadian Children's Book News, Red Leaf Literature title

“An ingenious exploration of the masterminds who accidentally created great inventions…you will love this.” - The International Educator

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Also Available

Camp Disaster Frieda Wishinsky 9781459811140 $9.95 CAD Apr 26, 2016
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Queen of the Toilet Bowl Frieda Wishinsky 9781551433646 $9.95 CAD Mar 01, 2005


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