Ben Franklin and His First Kite


Ten-year-old Ben Franklin finds working in his father's candle shop boring — he'd much rather be doing experiments. He can't wait to try out his latest idea. With nothing but a simple kite, can Ben get across the pond — without swimming a single stroke?

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Ten-year-old Ben Franklin finds working in his father's candle shop boring — he'd much rather be doing experiments. He can't wait to try out his latest idea. With nothing but a simple kite, can Ben get across the pond — without swimming a single stroke?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Though billed as nonfiction, this is a fictional story based on an incident from Ben Franklin's boyhood. There is a good deal of dialogue that is obviously fictional. Moreover, the events differ from Franklin's own description of the day he used his kite to pull himself across a pond. In Krensky's version, young Ben purposely sets out to conduct an experiment using his kite. In Franklin's description, he was trying to amuse himself with his kite and enjoy swimming at the same time, when he discovered that the kite would draw him across the water. Aside from concerns always raised by presenting fiction as nonfiction, the approach taken in this book is troubling. Young readers would probably like the real Ben Franklin better than the rather know-it-all character in this book; they would also learn that scientific discoveries are made by close observation of everyday events as well as through planned experiments. This book is one of the "Childhood of Famous Americans" series and a Level 2 "Ready-to-Read" book. 2002, Aladdin/Simon & Schuster,
— Sally Canzoneri
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Krensky's text about Franklin's first experiment with a kite is well written and conveys a number of known facts about the man. Throughout the easy-to-read story, Franklin has conversations with his friends and parents, and his observations are well described. Dodson's watercolor illustrations nicely portray details of the period. The children are skillfully drawn, and the action is well expressed in the art. This is a good addition to any collection for beginning readers.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689849848
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: Ready-to-read COFA Series
  • Edition description: Repackage
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 377,244
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 150L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Krensky is the author of more than a hundred books for children, including How Santa Got His Job (an ALA Notable Book) and Big Bad Wolves at School. He and his wife, Joan, live in Lexington, Massachusetts. You can visit him at

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