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Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!

by Larry David Tuxbury

Other authors: Matthew McElligott (Illustrator)

Series: Benjamin Franklinstein (1)

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1024214,718 (3.5)2
While working on a science fair project, a Philadelphia school boy discovers both a secret laboratory in his basement and Benjamin Franklin, who comes to life after receiving a jolt of electricity.

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Showing 4 of 4
What if I told you Ben Franklin never died. It is well know that he was a member of various secret societies, but one society had the mother of all secrets. The Modern Order of Prometheus was a very secret organization that found a way to “preserve” a living human in perpetual sleep until they were needed by the future. Ben was the first to be put to sleep. He has now awoken and is trying to find the custodian or anyone else with the Order to tell him why he has been awakened. But all he finds is Victor, a boy getting ready for the science fair.

This book was just so much fun. Ben is Ben, but also a Frankenstein like character complete with bolts in his neck for recharging. The book uses legitimate scientific reasoning of Ben’s time for many of the ideas in the book. It uses illustrations from real patents, and explains what they were, and how they are still used today. This is part history, but also part science that is a great read for October, or any other day. The characters are likable, and I really, really, really, want to know what that kids did to the potato juice. What am I talking about? Read the book, I don’t want to spoil it. ( )
  LibrarianRyan | Oct 17, 2018 |
I picked this up because I have a lot of fans of McElligott's picture books (myself included) and somehow hadn't realized he'd written a middle grade book.

Victor is obsessed with science, good grades, and worrying about his mom and their falling-down house. He knows he doesn't have many (or any) friends, but isn't really sure what he should do about it, or if he really cares. Then his mom ignores all the rules he's given her and rents their extra room to a complete stranger off the street! A very strange stranger, who just happens to be dressed like Ben Franklin.... The next thing Victor knows, he's chasing an energy-hungry Franklin zombie all over town, trying to find the lost Modern Order of Prometheus, and keep Franklin "alive", all while still producing an award-winning (i.e. top graded) science project!

The hairsbreadth escapes and adventures are interspersed with information about Franklin, colonial America, and the science of Franklin's day. There's also interesting tidbits of history. Franklin presents an interesting perspective on science and history, encouraging Victor to stop worrying so much about doing things right and getting good grades and be willing to experiment, invent, and fail (sometimes spectacularly!). At 120 pages this is a fast read and sometimes the language felt choppy and the plot contrived, but it will be suitable for struggling tween readers or high-level younger readers who can handle the scientific language and excerpts from original advertisements and documents.

Verdict: I enjoyed this and I think many kids will like the brisk action, historical and scientific aspects, and of course zombies! It will also fit into the requests I get for blends of fiction and science. I don't know if I'll go back and purchase it and the two sequels currently available, but I will certainly recommend it.

ISBN: 9780399252297; Published 2010 by Putnam; Borrowed from another library in my consortium
  JeanLittleLibrary | Jul 1, 2017 |
While working on a science fair project, a Philadelphia school boy discovers both a secret laboratory in his basement and Benjamin Franklin, who comes to life after receiving a jolt of electricity.
  lkmuir | Dec 8, 2015 |
Victor Godwin�s orderly life is upended when he discovers that Benjamin Franklin never actually died� he was put into suspended animation and hidden away for more than 200 years in Victor�s basement! After an accident reawakens Ben, Victor must not only help him adjust to the modern world ( )
  prkcs | Oct 8, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tuxbury, Larry Davidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McElligott, MatthewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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While working on a science fair project, a Philadelphia school boy discovers both a secret laboratory in his basement and Benjamin Franklin, who comes to life after receiving a jolt of electricity.

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