Skateboards (Made by Hand #1)

by Patricia Lakin (Author)

Skateboards (Made by Hand #1)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: Made by Hand

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.

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Kirkus Reviews


School Library Journal

Gr 4-7--A brief homage to skateboard history and a step-by-step lesson on how one individual takes a designer approach to his brand of skateboards. Packed with photographs on graph paper backgrounds, the book follows Jake Eshelman's creative process as he plans and constructs custom skateboards for his company, Side Project. The craftsmanship is evident, and the attention to detail is laudable as Eshelman's creations go from wood scraps to customized beauty. Later pages encourage readers to explore making something by hand, with a brief mention of recycling. A four-page time line on the evolution of the skateboard and an index conclude the insubstantial information. While enthusiasts might appreciate Eshelman's dedication and the impressive photos, this volume is likely to have little appeal otherwise. VERDICT A noteworthy look at an artist's craftsmanship but an optional purchase for libraries.--Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Patricia Lakin
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.

Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed picture books Locomotive, winner of the Caldecott Medal and a New York Times bestseller; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11; and Lightship, each a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. He is the illustrator of numerous additional books, including Avi's Poppy series. You can visit him online at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Aladdin Paperbacks
Publication date
February 20, 2017
Made by Hand
BISAC categories
JNF051130 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Technology | Machinery & Tools
JNF015000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Crafts & Hobbies | General
JNF051120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Technology | How Things Work/Are Made
Library of Congress categories
Design and construction

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