Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Electric Ben

The life of Benjamin Franklin is covered in many-a children's book, some I've even posted about previously. But never has Ben Franklin been presented to children quite like this: bold, unconventional, witty, and decisive. From Ben's boyhood in Massachusetts through his various jobs as a printer, publisher, editor, writer, thinker, inventor, statesman, and diplomat, Electric Ben journeys through Ben's life in great detail infusing bits of information not generally found in other children's biographies about him. Covered in these oversized pages are many of Ben's inventions, depicted through text and illustration, as well as his many contributions to the formation of our country, including his many trips abroad and the letters and pamphlets he wrote to aid the cause.

This book is recommended for K-3, although I'm not quite sure I agree with that assessment. The text is rather dense for a kindergartener, even if it is read aloud. My first grader enjoyed listening to it read aloud last year, although not all first graders would. My fifth grader chose this, at my urging, for a biography last year, and he very much enjoyed that he found plenty of information that he needed, while the illustrations kept his interest visually. Whatever ages decide to read this will definitely find a gem of a biography, and I foresee Electric Ben being read often in our household for many years to come!

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