Review: Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Based on recommendations from coworkers Leslie and Ryan, I’m currently listening to the audio book The Devil in The White City: Murder, Magic, and Mad Madness at the Fair That Changed America. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is a fascinating event and Erik Larson is a wonderful nonfiction storyteller. It reminded me of another excellent book for primary students, which also tells of this amazing time in American history.

Ferris and his wheelMr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis and illustrated by Gilbert Ford.  9780547959221.  September 2014. Gr K – 3.

In  true American one-upmanship the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair needed a structure bigger & better than the Eiffel Tower built for the previous World’s Fair. George Washington Ferris is the engineer who won the competition with his design to build a rotating structure out of the new material call steel.

This is a great example of narrative nonfiction, using primary resources to detail the many engineering issues they needed to overcome, as well as describing how beautiful Chicago was from a distance, all lit up with another new invention call the electric light bulb. This book covers several curriculum areas: biography, American history, material science, and engineering. It would be an excellent addition to any elementary collection.


maureen Blogger: Maureen S.