Who Was Ben Franklin?

Who Was Ben Franklin?

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by Dennis Brindell Fradin, John A. O'Brien, Nancy Harrison
     
 

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Ben Franklin was the scientist who, with the help of a kite, discovered that lightning is electricity. He was also a statesman, an inventor, a printer, and an author-a man of such amazingly varied talents that some people claimed he had magical powers! Full of all the details kids will want to know, the true story of Benjamin Franklin is by turns sad and funny, but… See more details below

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Overview

Ben Franklin was the scientist who, with the help of a kite, discovered that lightning is electricity. He was also a statesman, an inventor, a printer, and an author-a man of such amazingly varied talents that some people claimed he had magical powers! Full of all the details kids will want to know, the true story of Benjamin Franklin is by turns sad and funny, but always honest and awe-inspiring.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-This is an often funny, always engaging introduction to one of America's most fascinating founding fathers. Franklin is affectionately and respectfully depicted as a man of insatiable intellectual curiosity with a tireless creative and inventive mind who played indispensable roles in the War for Independence and the establishment of the U.S. government. Fradin's anecdotal presentation describes all of the important contributions and inventions the man gave to the world: a national postal system, the first public library, the first volunteer fire department, bifocals, the Franklin stove, the lightning rod, and his revolutionary experiments with electricity. His public service on behalf of the Continental Congress as a diplomat and representative, and his contributions to the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution also receive significant attention. The discussions of Franklin's childhood growing up as one of 17 children and his relationship with his son William who stayed loyal to England during the War for Independence add an interesting personal dimension. Readers are left with an impression of a man of almost unfathomable genius whose many astonishing contributions to American culture, politics, society, and science still profoundly affect us. O'Brien's black-and-white amusing cartoon illustrations are an effective complement to the lighthearted text. A fun, informative introductory biography that will inspire many readers to learn more about this fascinating man.-Edward Sullivan, White Pine School, TN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Benjamin Franklin "snatched the lightning from the sky and the scepter from tyrants" and his story is told here in many informative and amusing anecdotes. Among them: young, skinny-dipping Ben pulled across a pond by his kite, Ben in London proving he can swim three miles, Ben making up fake "news items" to spice up his Pennsylvania Gazette, and Ben wanting to get married in spite of his "bumpy" love life. These human-interest stories balance the better-known record of Franklin's accomplishments as an inventor and political force in colonial America. Franklin invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, and an artificial arm. He started a public library, a volunteer fire company, and a general hospital in Philadelphia. He improved the colonies' mail delivery system and founded the Philadelphia Academy, which later became the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence, helped secure French support for the Revolution, and helped hammer out the Constitution. His final public act was to urge Congress to end slavery. All of this and more are covered in this brief, engaging, well-written biography. Not just a birth-to-death exposition of facts, this account opens with Franklin's catching lightning in a bottle and, by the end, has succeeded in portraying Franklin as a "man of many talents" and a flesh-and-blood person. The black-and-white illustrations, which appear on every spread, are superb, adding information and touches of humor. Readers will like the Ben Franklin they come to know in this outstanding biography. Two timelines are appended-one on Franklin's life, and one on world events. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780448426587
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Series:
Who Was...? Series
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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