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The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin (National…
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The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin (National Geographic)

by Cheryl Harness

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In The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin by Cheryl Harness, one learns of Benjamin Franklin’s entire life. From his birth on January 17, 1706, as Josiah Franklin’s 10th son, to his death on April 17, 1790 one reads of all of the interesting aspects of his life. As a child he loved reading, and he began inventing from an early age. Benjamin apprenticed as a printer, where he continued to read. He wrote letters to the paper under the name Mrs. Silence Dogood and eventually published Poor Richard’s Almanack. He became the publisher and editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette. By 1736 he started the Philadelphia fire department and later became the Philadelphia postmaster. He developed a plan to unite the Colonies and went to England for the Pennsylvania Assembly. He eventually became a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention and died in Philadelphia in 1790. Cheryl Harness’ bibliography is listed in paragraph form and is somewhat difficult to read. There is a timeline of Franklin’s life, which ties in other important events. This is beneficial. The illustrations add to the story. This book is a wonderful book to read to students about the life of Franklin and aspects of his personal life. It could easily be used in a “heroes” unit for upper elementary students. ( )
  dscalia | May 1, 2014 |
I did not like this book for the fact that there is way too much going on in it. A 6 year old would not be able to sit through this. It is a very long book, as well as has quotes from Ben Franklin's writings on every page. The illustrations are very descriptive and detailed. I feel as if there is a lot going on and children would not be able to follow with the teacher.

The main idea of the story is to learn about Benjamin Franklin and how he grew up from a little boy to an older man. ( )
  kwisem1 | Mar 12, 2014 |
This book starts with important historical facts about Benjamin Franklin. The story showcases the events of his life. They keep the story line flowing, however they break down the different events. Such as his apprenticeship as a printer, running away, his travels all over the world, owning his own shop, Poor Richards Almanac, his exploration into electricity and the Revolutionary War. They also focused on the Declaration of Independence and how it became the important historical document it is today. The book ends with a very detailed time line with years and specific events.

This is a well written and illustrated book with a great event detail. The events are broken down and individually allowing comprehension before moving on. I really enjoy the timeline in the back; it helps really put the events to the date.

1. This could be used as an introduction to Benjamin Franklin. You could have the children do a fill in the blank timeline from the story.
2. This could be used as an introduction to the Declaration of Independence. They could do an essay on how they would have done the declaration differently.
  juliac83 | Nov 21, 2011 |
This book describes the life of Benjamin Franklin. This book not only describes the inventions of Benjamin Franklin but also contributions he has made to the world. This book begins at the beginning of Franklin’s life and goes all the way until the end, listing the achievements and accomplishments Franklin has made in his lifetime. ( )
  hughtr01 | Oct 15, 2010 |
This book would be best suited for second through fourth grades. The book is a pictorial biography of Benjamin Franklin’s life. The texts is rather lengthy so, when read aloud, it may have to be read in small sections. Overall, I would rate the book a 4 out of 5 because the accurateness of the information.
  MeganLyn | Oct 15, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0792278828, Hardcover)

No one could have thought up a more amazing character than the living, breathing Benjamin Franklin. He was everything from a "soapmaker, 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."

Acclaimed children's author-illustrator Cheryl Harness through her true-to-life paintings and storytelling-style narrative, along with a generous sampling of Franklin's own words, lets you "walk in his shoes" as you discover just how truly remarkable Benjamin Franklin was.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:05 -0400)

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.… (more)

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