The EPIC FAILS book series (by Erik Slader and Ben Thompson, with art by Tim Foley) takes a humorous and unexpected view of history, exploring the surprising stories behind a variety of groundbreaking discoveries, voyages, experiments, and innovations that didn’t go as expected but succeeded nonetheless, illustrating how many of mankind’s biggest successes are in fact the result of some pretty epic failures indeed.

Kids, parents and teachers alike have praised the series for its engaging approach and its emphasis on perseverance. The series has been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, the Washington Post, and on NPR. Erik and his co-author, Ben Thompson, won a STEM award from the National Science Teacher’s Association, and were even featured at the Smithsonian Museums!

Great for reluctant readers and history buffs alike, all 4 books are available now on Amazon, Audible, Kindle, or a book store near you!

Epic Fails - the book series

Nose Diving Into History

Book 1 – The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving Into History!

A hilarious nonfiction look at two of history’s most epic “failures”: the Wright brothers, whose countless crashes ultimately led to groundbreaking success.

Although Orville and Wilbur Wright are celebrated today as heroes for their revolutionary contributions to science and engineering―they are acknowledged as the first men to successfully achieve powered, piloted flight―their success was hard-earned. (Spoiler alert: there were a lot of nosedives involved.) In fact, it took the self-taught engineers years of work and dozens of crashes before they managed a single twelve-second flight!

In this first installment of the brand new Epic Fails series, Ben Thompson and Erik Slader take readers through the Wright brothers’ many mishaps and misadventures as they paved the way for modern aviation.

Click here to buy now on Amazon!


Book 2 – The Race to Space: Countdown to Liftoff!

EPIC FAILS: The Race to SpaceIn this second installment of the Epic Fails series, explore the many failures that made up the Space Race, paving the way for humanity’s eventual success at reaching the stars.

Today, everyone is familiar with Neil Armstrong’s famous words as he first set foot on the moon: “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” He made it look easy, but America’s journey to the moon was anything but simple. In 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, into orbit, America had barely crossed the starting line of the great Space Race. Later that year, our first attempt was such a failure that the media nicknamed it “Kaputnik.”

Still, we didn’t give up.

With each failure, we gleaned valuable information about what went wrong, and how to avoid it in the future. So we tried again. And again. And each time we failed, we failed a little bit better.

Available to buy now on Amazon!


Not So Great Presidents

Book 3 – Not-So-Great Presidents: Commanders in Chief

From heroic George Washington to the dastardly Richard Nixon, the oval office has been occupied by larger-than-life personalities since 1789.

The position comes with enormous power and responsibility, and every American president thus far has managed to achieve great things. However, the President of the United States is only human―and oftentimes far from perfect. While some men suffered through only minor mishaps during their time in office, others are famously remembered for leaving behind much bigger messes.

In the third installment of the Epic Fails series, authors Erik Slader and Ben Thompson, and artist Tim Foley, take readers on another hilarious ride, exploring the lives, legacies, and failures of some of America’s commanders in chief.

Available now on Amazon!


Book 4 – The Age of Exploration: Totally Getting Lost

The Age of Exploration: Totally Getting LostChristopher Columbus is one of the most famous explorers of all time, but he was neither the first nor last adventurer to ever stumble upon a great discovery.

From the Silk Road of Asia to the icy shores of Antarctica, our knowledge of the world today is in large part due to several intrepid pioneers, risking life and limb for the sake of exploration. After all, setting off into the dark unknown requires an enormous amount of bravery. But every explorer quickly learns that courage and curiosity aren’t enough to save you if you can’t read a map or trespass on somebody else’s land!

In this fourth installment of the Epic Fails series, authors Erik Slader and Ben Thompson introduces readers to an international cast of trailblazers and details every mutiny, wrong turn, and undiscovered city of gold behind the age of exploration.

All 4 EPIC FAILS books are now available on Amazon, Audible, Kindle, or a book store near you!