Written by: Hannah Holt
Illustrated by: Jay Fleck
Published by: Balzer + Bray (October 2, 2018
Ages: 4 – 8 years
Theme: Pressure, Perseverance
Synopsis: Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the Boy follows the stories of both natural diamond creation and the life of H. Tracy Hall, the inventor of a revolutionary diamond-making machine.
Why I like this: This is a gem of a book for young inventors or curious minds. On the left side is a story of a common gray rock called graphite. Through an intense trial of heat and pressure, it changes into one of the most valuable stones in the world. On the right side is the story of Tracy Hall a boy—born into poverty, bullied by peers, forced to work at an early age. However, through education and experimentation, he became one of the brightest innovators of the twentieth century, eventually building a revolutionary machine that makes diamonds. Told in beautiful language the two stories tell of the pressure and perseverance of the lives of both rock and inventor. The bold illustrations are clear and a delight to the eye. The back matter is very informative. I’m sure this book will be a must have in schools and libraries everywhere.
What makes this book by debut author Hannah so unique is that H Tracy Hall is also her grandfather. Although Hannah at a young age was aware of her Grandfather’s inventive side through stories she had heard, it wasn’t until years later when the idea came to research and write his story.
Pop back in a couple of days when Hannah gives us a writers insight in how she came up with the unique dual-narrative format for The Diamond and The Boy. The struggles she faced getting that all important perfect beginning, voice and theme. You won’t want to miss it.