Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

What Color Is My World?

What Color Is My World? Cover

What Color Is My World?

The Lost History of African-American Inventors

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Raymond Obstfeld; Ben Boos (Illustrator)

Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763645649, 44pp.

Publication Date: January 10, 2012


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball legend and the NBA's alltime leading scorer, champions a lineup
of little-known African-American inventors in this lively, kid-friendly book.

Did you know that James West invented the microphone in your cell phone? That Fred Jones invented the refrigerated truck that makes supermarkets possible? Or that Dr. Percy Julian synthesized cortisone from soy, easing untold people's pain? These are just some of the black inventors and innovators scoring big points in this dynamic look at several unsung heroes who shared a desire to improve people's lives. Offering profiles with fast facts on flaps and framed by a funny contemporary story featuring two feisty twins, here is a nod to the minds behind the gamma electric cell and the ice-cream scoop, improvements to traffic lights, open-heart surgery, and more - inventors whose ingenuity and perseverance against great odds made our world safer, better, and brighter.

About the Author
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most famous and accomplished basketball players in U.S. history. Since retiring from the sport, he has committed himself to bringing history and social studies to young people and has written seven books, including the New York Times bestseller "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance," co-authored by Raymond Obstfeld. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar lives in California.

Raymond Obstfeld is the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction and is a professor of creative writing. He lives in California.

Ben Boos (1971-2011) is the author-illustrator of "Swords: An Artist's Devotion" and "Fantasy: An Artist's Realm."

A. G. Ford is the illustrator of "Goal!" by Mina Javaherbin and the "New York Times" bestseller "Barack" by Jonah Winter, among other titles. A. G. Ford lives in Texas.

Praise For What Color Is My World?

It's an entertaining and often surprising exploration of lesser-known innovators, past and present.
—Publishers Weekly

In his first foray into writing for children, basketball superstar Abdul-Jabbar teams with Obstfeld to
introduce 16 mostly lesser-known African American inventors through a fictional story told by young
twins, who learn that many items in a typical house and used by a majority of Americans were invented or developed by African Americans.