Budding scientists will surely draw inspiration from this biography of Linnaeus, whom Anderson dubs ""the greatest botanist of all time."" Linnaeus and his world--18th-century Sweden--may seem far removed from most middle-graders' experiences, but Anderson creates a dramatic narrative fully capable of keeping readers enthralled. The elements of Linnaeus's life are used to maximum effect: At nine he was told that he was a hopeless student; as a young man, he perfected his own system of binomial nomenclature used to classify plant life. Throughout the story, Anderson shows how the personal side of Linnaeus's life affected his profession: Although he was beset by financial problems for years, he succeeded as an explorer and scientist, eventually achieving fame and wealth as a college professor with a family of his own. The portrait is accurately rendered, and although Linnaeus is imperfect by 20th-century standards--refusing to educate his daughters and remaining distant from his wife--Anderson finds in his life an upbeat story of a man achieving his dreams.