Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not--but you should, and New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson has. 


Innovation starts with a problem whose solution sets in motion all kinds of unexpected discoveries. That's why you can draw a line from pendulums to punching the clock at a factory, from ice blocks to summer movie blockbusters, from clean water to computer chips.

In the lively storytelling style that has made him a popular, bestselling author, Steven Johnson looks at how accidental genius, brilliant mistakes, and unintended consequences shape the way we live in the modern world. Johnson's "long zoom" approach connects history, geography, politics, and scientific advances with the deep curiousity of inventors or quirky interests of tinkerers to show how innovation truly comes about. 

His fascinating account is organized into six topics: glass, cold, sound, clean, time, light. 

Product details

  • Age Range: 10 and up 
  • Grade Level: 5 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 1150L
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (October 16, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780425287781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425287781