Benjamin Franklinby Kathleen Krull, Boris Kulikov
Sure, almost all kids know Benjamin Franklin as one of America’s Founding Fathers, a man with a hand in both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. And they may even have some vague idea that he once flew a kite during a lightning storm. What Kathleen Krull sets out to do in this very different biography is show Ben Franklin the “natural philosopher” (the term for scientists back in the 1700s), whose experiments led to important discoveries about the nature of electricity—including his famous demonstration that electricity and lightning were one and the same.
As always, this much-lauded series presents a true Giant of Science in a juicily anecdotal way. This is social history at its best. . . . who knew that Franklin became such a megastar that Paris shops sold Ben dolls, Ben ashtrays, even Ben wallpaper?
Witty and engaging, this is a worthy addition to the Giants of Science series.
Gr 4–6—In this volume in the series, Krull focuses on Franklin's passion for science and his drive to make scientific knowledge useful in everyday life. Despite the fact that his achievements as a statesman were more extensive ("a list of Franklin's political achievements would fill a bigger book"), he viewed science as his true calling. In a lively, even "gossipy," style, the author emphasizes Franklin's experiments—for example, investigating the flow of warm and cold air, electricity, health, optics—and the resulting useful applications—the Franklin stove, the lightning rod, the cure for scurvy, bifocals. Krull's forte is to connect what readers know with what they are learning. She tells them that Franklin was a "superb networker," making connections with the best-known thinkers of his day. In fact, he developed his own "information superhighway." Kulikov's pen-and-ink illustrations support Krull's friendly approach, showing a young Franklin being propelled across a pond by a kite and an older Franklin enjoying a bath in his portable tub while engaged in conversation. For teachers and librarians looking for text sets that discuss point of view or the style and organization of information, this book can be effectively combined with Robert Byrd's Electric Ben (Dial, 2012), Candace Fleming's Ben Franklin's Almanac (S & S, 2003), and David A. Adler's B. Franklin, Printer (Holiday House, 2001).—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York
Meet the Author
Kathleen Krull, the noted social historian, lives in San Diego, California.
Boris Kulikov, the illustrator of this series, lives in New York City.
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I found that this story will change your opinion about history. It tells the real facts in the most appropriote ways- war, wounds, ect. This story is also very well done for kids the age of 10 to adulthood.