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DID FLEMING RESCUE CHURCHILL? by James Cross Giblin

DID FLEMING RESCUE CHURCHILL?

A Research Puzzle

By James Cross Giblin (Author) , Erik Brooks (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8183-1
Publisher: Henry Holt

Assigned to write a report on Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, fifth-grader Jason despairs of finding enough to fill three pages until he finds an interesting anecdote on the Internet—but is it true? Did Fleming, or his father, really save Winston Churchill, or his father, from drowning? This genuine question lures middle-grade readers into a painless introduction to the research process. The first-person narrative follows Jason’s exploration of library books (too long), encyclopedia entries (too short) and the Internet (where stories conflict). Suddenly excited by the process, Jason even gives up a weekend barbecue to finish his writing. Giblin includes much of the final report and appends a section of research tips and his own sources. Distinctive typefaces set off Internet quotations and Jason’s writing; Brooks’s line drawings illustrate both stories. Some adults may be taken aback by Jason’s use of Fleming’s first name, but all who deal with young researchers will welcome this realistic account, which contains unobtrusive yet valuable instruction from a Sibert Award–winning author. (Fiction. 9-12)