Every carnival has one now, but the first Ferris Wheel was an engineering marvel. Barbara Lowell tells the story of its invention in a straightforward way:
George Ferris was an engineer who had big ideas. he turned his big ideas into bridges made of steel. Bridges that crossed high over rivers. Bridges that were strong and safe. George made sure of that.
I was especially impressed that she managed to keep the story engaging and fun to read without inventing any dialogue. Instead she uses interesting details to keep us reading. We don’t hear planners talking about the World’s Fair but we learn:
There would be lots to see and do. Including balloon rides. An ostrich farm. And Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
When the Ferris Wheel is finally finished, we don’t hear any celebratory dialogue but we learn:
George and Mrs. Ferris hopped into one car. A forty-piece marching band squeezed into another, and up, up, up they went. The band played “America.”
It’s a fun story and fun to read.
George Ferris: What a Wheel, by Barbara Lowell, illustrated by Jerry Hoare and with photos. Penguin (Core Concepts): 2014.