Go behind the scenes and learn how craftsman Jake Eshelman makes one-of-a-kind skateboards by hand with this nonfiction book that’s full of photographs and illustrations about his process.
Jake Eshelman of Side Project Skateboards in Houston, Texas, grew up with a love of skateboarding. After meeting his future wife in college, Jake decided to turn his passion into a career: making one-of-a-kind skateboards from beautiful pieces of found wood. This book gives readers an inside glimpse into Jake’s creative process, from wheel to finished wheel! Charts, infographics, and bold photographs make this a picture book for anyone who is curious about how a skateboard is made. This book also features a history of skateboarding, a timeline, and resources to inspire kids to make their own objects by hand.
Patricia Lakin, a former elementary school teacher and an award-winning author, has written more than fifty published works. Her books, both fiction and nonfiction, span multiple age groups—from toddlers to middle graders. Patricia lives in New York City with her husband, Lee Koenigsberg. They have two grown sons, Aaron and Benjahmin. When not reading, writing, or researching, she can be found traveling with Lee to far-off places in the world.
Part minibiography, part DIY guide, this engaging book chronicles the making of handmade skateboards by a lifelong aficionado."If you've got wheels under your feet, you can fly." A skateboard—composed of three main parts: a deck, trucks, and wheels—promises fast movement. That's certainly how Californian surfers thought of skateboards in the 1960s. Though no one can definitively pin the origins of these boards-on-wheels to any one location or time, Lakin notes that California seems like a probable birthplace for them, emphasizing the connection between surfing and skateboarding. After a brief history of the skateboard, readers meet Jake Eshelman, a white craftsman whose skateboarding adventures began during his childhood in Virginia. The book then explores Jake's notion to make handmade skateboards from tossed-out strips of wood like maple, cherry, and walnut and the founding of his company, Side Project Skateboards. The author follows this snapshot with an extensive look at Jake's weeklong process, which features plenty of up-close, bright photographs detailing each step. The tone of the narrative voice remains upbeat and energetic throughout, while the text, photos, and various figures appear on graph-paper backdrops, keeping everything clean and pleasant. Ultimately, it's the boards themselves that appeal: a timeline at the end of the book offers a glimpse at a broader view of the skateboard—and the cool world it inspires. Radical. (timeline, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
– Kirkus Reviews, 12/1/16
Awards and Honors
Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Junior Title
Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title
Eureka! Excellence in Nonfiction Award Honor Title (CA)