When you first open Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by John O’Brien, you might wonder if you have picked up an alphabet book for middle grades. Once inside, however, it is apparent that Schroeder has organized this biography like one of Ben Franklin’s own almanacs. It turns out to be an intriguing collage of facts that fit together into a beautiful overview of this famous man’s entire life.
Besides the nontraditional format, the author has also managed to dig up some tidbits of information about Ben Franklin and times he lived in that I don’t remember reading about before. Ben Franklin was a general in the French and Indian War? People dipped their babies in cold water three times a day during colonial times? Fascinating!
John O’Brien’s watercolor and ink illustrations add illumination and humor to each page. Each page is filled with such detail that you want to come back again and again, finding new things each time.
Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z is an inspiring book. It could be used in both history and language arts classrooms. In addition to using it to teach about Ben Franklin, pair this book with a lesson about the history and design of almanacs and then have your students create their own.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (April 1, 2011)
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3 Replies to “Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z”
Oh wow, this is the second or third time I believe that I’ve seen a review of this interesting book for Nonfiction Monday – I would have to check this out. =) Thanksf or sharing
You know. at first I avoided reviewing books that others had reviewed. Now I realize we each have our own voice and when a lot of people are excited enough about a book to review it, it probably is a very good book.
I do like to link to other reviews I know about, just as I did here.
The format and topic is interesting! Sounds like a great resource for the classroom or home.