While listening to the news on MSNBC the other morning, I heard an interview with basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about his new children’s book, What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors. Actually, my ears first perked up when I heard one of the famous clips of his role in the 1980 movie Airplane!, but that’s another story. Let me tell you why this book sounds very impressive. Abdul-Jabbar presents a lineup of amazing but little-known African-American inventors in a kid-friendly book perfect for age 8 and up. Frankly, I’m embarrassed to say that I had never heard of these inventors myself….for example, James West who invented the cell phone microphone, Fred Jones who invented refrigerated trucks, or other inventors who can be credited with everything from open-heart surgery to improvements in traffic lights? Each of these inventors–many of whom perservered against great odds– is introduced in fast and fun profiles. I highly recommend this read for elementary-age kids; I’ll be ordering a copy for my own daughter. Buy it for $10.52 at Amazon.com.