Samuel Morse, That's Who! (Hardcover)

The Story of the Telegraph and Morse Code

By Tracy Nelson Maurer, El Primo Ramón (Illustrator)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781627791304, 40pp.

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Writer Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrator El Primo Ramón present a lively picture book biography of Samuel Morse that highlights how he revolutionized modern technology.

Back in the 1800s, information traveled slowly. Who would dream of instant messages? Samuel Morse, that’s who! Who traveled to France, where the famous telegraph towers relayed 10,000 possible codes for messages depending on the signal arm positions—only if the weather was clear? Who imagined a system that would use electric pulses to instantly carry coded messages between two machines, rain or shine? Long before the first telephone, who changed communication forever? Samuel Morse, that’s who!

This dynamic and substantive biography celebrates an early technology pioneer.

About the Author

Tracy Nelson Maurer is the author of over a hundred books, including John Deere, That's Who! and many other nonfiction books for children. She lives near Minneapolis with her family, and loves to interact with readers on her frequent school and library visits.

Praise For Samuel Morse, That's Who!: The Story of the Telegraph and Morse Code

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"The text effectively explains how the invention works as well as how it came to be, and young readers and listeners just may be inspired to try some inventing of their own. An excellent, entertaining choice to highlight social-emotional skills, history, and STEM."Kirkus Reviews

"The approach to Morse’s story has lots of charm, and Ramón’s digitally colored pencil illustrations leaven the square-jawed protagonist’s travails with gentle touches of humor. A timeline, bibliography, trivia bits, and even a photograph of early nineteenth century women telegraph operators are included."—The Bulletin

"Who makes a great topic of a picture book biography? Samuel Morse, that’s who! This is an excellent biography on a lesser-known figure; add to collections looking for inventors and makers. As it turns out, . . . amuel M - - - r . . . e was a predecessor of the maker movement."—School Library Journal

"Another accessible exploration of an instrumental figure in STEM. Ramón's illustrations complement the breezy tone as they map Morse's journey. Readers curious about Morse code, discussed briefly in the text, should check under the book's jacket . A fun, informative way to tap into historical inventions. "—Booklist

"A valuable lesson in grit and determination."—Horn Book