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Alfred Nobel: The Man Behind the Peace Prize

By Kathy-Jo Wargin
Sleeping Bear Press

310 North Main Street, Suite 300
Chelsea, MI 48118

Alfred Nobel: The Man Behind the Peace Prize is another beautiful book from Sleeping Bear Press. This 32-page picture book tells the story of how Alfred Nobel, a lover of literature, poetry, and science, invented dynamite. He intended this invention to be used to help civilization by blasting away rock so roads and railroads could be built. He also thought it would encourage people to settle disagreements peacefully because they would be scared of the power of dynamite, but it ended up being used in war. This haunted Alfred Nobel for the rest of his life. He died as one of the richest men in Europe, and his will specified that his estate be used to set up a foundation to award prizes in physics, chemical discovery, medicine, and literature. But the most special prize to be awarded by Alfred Nobel's foundation was the peace prize.

I read this book to my sons, ages 9, 8, 6, 5, and 3. They all enjoyed listening to this true story about the life of Alfred Nobel. The story is well written, and the illustrations are engaging and handsomely done. There is also a teacher's guide that can be downloaded, free of charge, from the Sleeping Bear Press website. This guide is geared toward older elementary children, but it has some fun activities to help children remember the story of Alfred Nobel.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, May 2009

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