B. FRANKLIN, PRINTER by David A. Adler


Age Range: 9 & up
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“Benjamin Franklin was a singular man with a keen mind that ‘soared above the clouds.’ ” Franklin was the only person to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Treaty of Alliance with France, and the Treaty of Paris to end the revolutionary war. He was a scientist, an inventor, a statesman, and a writer. Proud of his working-class roots, Franklin humbly referred to himself as a printer, hence the title Adler (Andy Russell, Not Wanted by the Police, p. 1352, etc.) has chosen. This attractive work is packed with good information and reproductions of maps, drawings, engravings, paintings, letters, and excerpts from The Pennsylvania Gazette, all diligently attributed to their sources. Adler emphasizes Franklin’s life prior to the revolution, and then does an excellent job of tracing his philosophical shift from believer in the unity of the empire to key player in the movement for independence. It was Franklin who suggested the line “We hold these truths to be self-evident” for the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately, the author’s writing does not equal the quality of the format and design. While Franklin’s mind soars, the prose drags, reading more like a school report than the lively narrative it might have been. Still, it will be valuable to young report writers and, as a study of a popular subject, should find a wide audience. Extensive source notes are included, though curiously no references for young readers are provided. (chronologies, bibliography, Web sites, illustration credits, index) (Biography. 9+)

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1675-5
Page count: 126pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2001


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