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Children's LiteratureFranklin had been studying electricity for some time by 1792. He could create electricity and store it in a glass-and-metal Leyden jar. He had done experiments to discover which materials were good conductors of electricity (metal and water) and which ones would slow or block the current (glass, silk, feathers). He was convinced that lightening was electricity and he was trying to figure out a way to prove his theory. He decided to make a kite of silk and cedar wood. During the next storm, he and his twenty-one-year-old son took the kite and a key and ran to a nearby barn. They got the kite into the air and then felt the metal key. At first they were disappointed. Then they felt the weak electrical shock. Franklin was elated. He immediately constructed a lightening rod for his own home and after proving its worth there, he made rods for many other buildings in Philadelphia. Colorful pictures depict Franklin as an active older man with gray hair and spectacles. A glossary, a list of suggestions for further reading, and some recommended web sites will enable young researchers to find further information. A nice addition for primary school units on electricity and how it works. This is part of the "On My Own Science" series. 2006, Millbrook Press, Ages 6 to 10.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.