Mistakes that Worked

By Charlotte Foltz Jones, Illustrator: John O’Brien

ISBN13: 9780399552021

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt



Do you know how many things in your daily life were invented by accident?

SANDWICHES came about when an English earl was too busy gambling to eat his meal and needed to keep one hand free. POTATO CHIPS were first cooked by a chef who was furious when a customer complained that his fried potatoes weren’t thin enough. Coca-Cola, Silly Putty, and X rays have fascinating stories behind them too! Their unusual tales, and many more, along with hilarious cartoons and weird, amazing facts, make up this fun-filled book about everyday items that had surprisingly haphazard beginnings.

 “A splendid book that is as informative as it is entertaining . . . a gem.” —Booklist, Starred


Sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, Frisbees, Silly Putty, the potato chip, how did they come to be? They were Mistakes that Worked: The World’s Familiar Inventions and How They Came To Be. Delightful facts, entertaining cartoons and well delivered historical information contribute to make this book a fun read. Learn more about how some of the most populate day to day items went from mistakes to successes. I for one am sure glad they messed up and produced Coco Cola and chips, as well as chocolate chip cookies. I know I learned some very interesting things about items I use often if not every day. Things we take for granted like rubber and aspiring had to come from somewhere, be invented by someone. How funny to find out they came from mistakes.

Although this intriguing book is written towards a younger audience (middle grade level), I really enjoyed it. I think it is fascinating to learn where and how things I use and eat and drink came to be what they are. I am pretty sure readers of the intended readers will get a lot of it and have fun while learning. The writing is not dumbed down, yet is still very easy to understand and has the necessary warnings for those younger reads. The cartoons are cute and well done. I feel Mistakes that Worked is the perfect fun read for inquisitive readers of all ages.


*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*