The Remarkable Benjamin FranklinBook - 2005
As author Cheryl Harness points out, no one could have thought up a more amazing character than the living, breathing Benjamin Franklin. He was everything from a "soap maker, candle dipper, and printer" to a "postmaster, political activist, community reformer, revolutionary, statesman, international diplomat, and first great citizen of a nation which he, as much or more than anyone, helped to create." Readers quickly learn that the story of this Founding Father is quite different from the likes of Washington and Jefferson. The tenth child of a candle maker and his wife, Benjamin's formal education ended at an early age, but his quest for knowledge never did. Readers see how the hard-knock days of his youth gave him a very down-to-earth outlook on life, which he shared in his Poor Richard's Almanack and which inspired practical inventions, such as the Franklin stove and bifocals. His experiments with electricity earned him the title Dr. Franklin and brought him fame, especially in Europe where he was a sought-after guest in the parlors of kings and queens. Readers will discover how his French connections helped America win the Revolutionary War and become an independent nation. The lively narrative and vivid artwork throughout the book make readers feel they are part of the story. As they tag along on the many exploits of Ben Franklin's 84-year-long life, they not only get to know a unique and truly remarkable American hero but also to witness life throughout most of the 18th century. Here is a sample of what they will see and learn at various stages along the way: As a young boy Ben teaches himself to swim, something few Americans at the time knew how to do. To make himself go faster, like a "sturdy, brown-haired fish," he makes wooden flippers for his hands and attaches himself to a kite that pulls him through the water. As a teenager Ben runs away from his job as an apprentice in his older brother's print shop, sells some books for money, and set out to begin a new life. He finds himself alone and penniless in London on Christmas Eve! On a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean he becomes the first person to record the temperatures of the Gulf Stream. At the age of 30 he owns his own print shop, edits his own newspaper, is the father of two sons, the bestselling author of Poor Richard's Almanack, founder of a library and volunteer fire department, Colonial Assembly Clerk, and town postmaster.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, 2005
Branch Call Number: 921 Frank
Description: 47 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Audience: Grades 4-6