New York, New York – (April 2, 2019) – The Les Paul Foundation has announced the release of Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked The World by Kim Tomsic and illustrated by Brett Helquist. The unforgettable biography resonates with inventive readers young and old with dynamic illustrations and a curiosity in its storytelling only Les Paul could have imagined. The 56 page book published by Chronicle has been endorsed by the School Library Journal and has received the Junior Library Guild Seal.

Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World is the story of how Les Paul created the world’s first solid-body electric guitar, countless other inventions that changed modern music and had one epic career performing and recording. Revered by musicians worldwide, Les was also a legendary inventor who created ways to produce new sounds used by today’s music industry. With his endless curiosity and faith in what was possible, Les Paul imagined and created endless possibilities.

Text and illustrations radiate exuberance and joy . . . A strong addition to inspire would-be inventors, and an excellent choice for STEM programs and biography collections.” – School Library Journal

Les Paul’s mother Evelyn encouraged and even praised Les’ efforts to take apart things in the home so

that he could discover new sounds. Les was always curious about sound. His initial attempts to learn to play the piano ended with his teacher declaring that “Lester will never learn music!” But a mail-order guitar and a harmonica proved to be just the ticket to launch his ever-widening curiosity about how to improve sound so it would reach all the way to the back of crowds that came to hear him play. As Les Paul played he found problems to solve, leading to more and more tinkering with found objects and inspiring invention. His persistence and creativity paid off as he is credited with numerous inventions that have made today’s recorded music possible.

Les PaulTomsic’s new book is a story of Les Paul, told delightfully in a folksy, familiar language with numerous anecdotes and examples to spark creativity in the minds of the readers. Helquist’s illustrations created with colorful oils add a bit of whimsy and fun to the pages. Readers will marvel at the perseverance and ingenuity Paul demonstrated throughout his life. This book has been praised by educators as an excellent choice for STEM programs and biography collections.

“Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World by Kim Tomsic is a fantastic, fun and creative story about Les Paul. Once you open to the first page you can’t help but want to discover more about the legendary inventor. Tomsic has crafted the storyline encouraging young people to explore their curiosity and does an extraordinary job in portraying the facts in a fun and creative way. We hope educators and parents encourage their children to enjoy this new book and explore their own inner-inventor. – Michael Braunstein, Executive Director, The Les Paul Foundation.

The book is now available at Barnes & Noble, and several local independent bookstores including Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado; Boulder Book Store, The Book Bar; Indiebound and Second Star to the Right.

The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation and medical research related to hearing. The Les Paul Foundation awards grants to music, music engineering and sound programs that serve youth as well as for medical research related to hearing loss and for veteran’s guitar programs. The Les Paul Foundation also supports public exhibits which display Les Paul’s life and achievements. For more information go to or follow the Foundation at,,

Caroline Galloway
(440) 591-3807