Today is National Inventor’s Day: the day where we give praise to awesomely inspiring innovators. People such as Thomas Edison, inventor of the Telephone; Henry Ford, inventor of the first car; and Madam Curie, the woman who discovered radioactive metals, have all made such a huge impact on our lives- can you imagine where we would be without them?
PLL has a soft spot for one particular inventor: Fisher Bas, the 12-year-old protagonist of ME Castle’s The Clone Chronicles. Fisher is a kid genius who has invented tons of things: a talking toaster, a flying pig- and of course, his most notorious invention, his ability to clone himself! The third Clone Chronicles Book, Game of Clones, is being published TODAY and so in honor of Fisher, and National Inventor’s Day, here are some middle-grade inventors we celebrate:
1. Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events
Violet was my favorite Baudelaire in the series, because she was smarter than her brother Klaus, and he knew it! Violet made a ton of inventions over her time investigating the deaths of her parents. Some of my favorites were: a lockpick, from two prongs from an electrical socket, a thumbtack, and some soap; a special filter to make saltwater drinkable; and climbing shoes using forks, fake fingernails, ukulele strings, and a candlestick holder!
2. Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka was another childhood favorite of mine. I’m still convinced there was some magic involved in Wonka’s creations, but nonetheless, he was responsible for some of the most imaginative candy- most of which I wish were real! The Never-Ending Gobstopper, the Chocolate River, and my favorite: the glass elevator that can fly.
3. Pugsley Addams from Charles Adams’ The Addam’s Family
Here’s a fun fact: the Addam’s Family started off as a cartoon! Pugsley Addams was the inventive younger sibling. He creates a robot and builds his own computer! In the movies, Pugsley comes up with a ton of inventive ways to- er, dispose of- his baby brother because he is no longer the youngest child.
4. Nick Allen from Andrew Clements’ Frindle
This was my favorite book growing up. Nick Allen one day decides to call his pencil a “Frindle” which really upsets his 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Granger, who wants him to refer to the object by its correct name. The word catches on, and the teacher tries to punish Nick and his friends for their new invention, but in the end, “Frindle” takes on a life of it’s own, and Nick can’t control how popular it gets. I thought Nick was so cool for being able to not only invent something new, but doing it by changing something old!
5. Caractacus Potts from Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
This famous movie also started as a children’s book! (And here’s another fun fact: the screenplay for the movie was written by the one and only Roald Dahl!) What starts off as a project junkyard car by an unsuccessful dreamer becomes the product of a fabulously inventive mind when Mr. Potts is able to make the car fly. (He also invents the candy “Toot Sweet” which is a licorice whistle for dogs.)
Game of Clones by ME Castle is in bookstores today. Click here to order a copy for the inventor in your life!