105 Ways to Give a Book

Nonfiction Monday: The Day-Glo Brothers

The Day-Glo BrothersThe Day-Glo Brothers, by Chris Barton, is making all the lists of best books for 2009 and has been reviewed all over the book blogging world, so clearly I don’t need to chime in. But I have to, I can’t resist. I was flipping through it before I sent a copy on to my contest winner, and I found myself going back to the beginning to read the whole thing through again.

It’s certainly a well-written biography, the cartoon illustrations are engaging, and the touches of day-glo on the gray pages is inspired. Wonderful book, no doubt. But I think what is making this book such a standout is the sense of discovery, in two ways. The reader follows the brothers on their path to create a new color, and to find the applications of that finding to be more far reaching than they could have imagined. It’s an interesting story that most people have never heard. So reading it feels like a discovery in itself.

I was fascinated by the tale of these brothers, but perhaps even more impressed by the author’s original research on the topic. In the author’s note at the end of the book, Chris Barton describes how he interviewed various members of the Switzer family, dug through seventy-year-old experiment notes, and visited the U.S. Army’s historical office. With so much nonfiction already well-covered ground, there is a magic to the original source research that went into this book. So, I guess that’s a third discovery in the book — from the author himself.

For an addition to my 105 Ways to Give a Book theme, I’d pair The Day-Glo Brothers with neon glue pens. For more nonfiction, head to Nonfiction Monday, hosted today at In Need of Chocolate

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Carol H Rasco said...

I love this book and have from the first day I saw it; as you note, there are so many discoveries within the discoveries. I remember on the second or third reading I realized the colors keep getting brighter and brighter as the book moves forward. In giving the book as a gift since its release, I have paired it with paints for children; I did not know about the glue sticks you reference, will check them out when next in the store!

Jean Reidy said...

Hurray for THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS. It's definitely going to be under the tree for some of favorite young readers.