A biography of the eighteenth-century printer, inventor, and statesman who played an influential role in the early history of the United States.
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Following the format of his picture-book biographies of George Washington (1992) and Thomas Jefferson (1994), Giblin, ably aided by artist Michael Dooling, presents the life of Benjamin Franklin--and an amazing life it was. Apprenticed to his brother as a printer, Franklin was soon running his own business and writing his own books, including the popular Poor Richard's Almanack. When Franklin became wealthy enough to retire, his life was just beginning. He indulged himself in his passion for science, worked for public improvements, such as libraries and hospitals, and, of course, became one of the nation's founding fathers as he tirelessly devoting himself to the affairs of a fledgling nation. Giblin's writing is lively, and he wisely uses the story of Franklin's estrangement from his only living son, a Royalist, to heighten dramatic tension. Dooling provides both expertly executed paintings and simple line drawings to bring Franklin's story close to today's readers. An especially useful touch is the wealth of back matter. Besides the expected time line and narrative bibliography, there is a page about Franklin's inventions, another with sayings from Poor Richard's Almanack, a list of historic sites associated with Franklin, and an informative illustrator's note. More than enough material for report writers but an intriguing offering for biography lovers as well. Ilene CooperFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 3-6-In a concise, readable style, this biography presents a great deal of information about a key figure in American history. Like Jean Fritz's What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? (Putnam, 1976), the book does not romanticize or sentimentalize Franklin's genius or his contributions. Giblin includes the challenges Franklin faced in establishing himself in business, his falling out with his son when they took different sides in the Revolutionary War, and the illnesses he suffered throughout his later years, and balances them with the man's successes in publishing, his inventions, and his diplomatic service. Dooling's realistic full-color, full-page paintings and spot sketches capture not only Franklin, his family, and colleagues, but also reveal much about life in the Colonies and England during this period. Concluding informational pages include a chronology of Franklin's life, a discussion of his inventions, a page of sayings from Poor Richard's Almanack, descriptions of historical sites associated with Franklin, and notes on sources used by both the biographer and the illustrator. These additions enrich and expand on the text. A balanced biography that belongs in all collections.
Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Scholastic, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110590485342