A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
I Am Benjamin Franklin is packed with interesting, fun, relatable information, like how young Ben figured he could swim faster if he had bigger hands and feet -- and invented an early version of swim fins, or getting a kite to pull him across the water. There's also a lot about the history of the times around the American Revolution, the importance of a free press -- and how great documents like the Declaration of Independence are often a collaborative effort.
As you might expect from a book about the author of Poor Richard's Almanack, I Am Benjamin Franklin has many wise, practical ideas to pass along, including, "If you're willing to experiment, you can learn something new -- and use it to improve things," "History doesn't just happen by itself. It's written -- and built -- and improved upon -- by people like you and me," and "Improve yourself. Improve the world."
Positive Role Models
By any standards, Benjamin Franklin was quite the overachiever, being a Founding Father, an inventor, a writer, a printer, and more -- but he recognized that the most important thing you should work on improving is yourself, which makes you able to improve your world.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Am Benjamin Franklin is a stellar addition to Ordinary People Change the World, the best-selling series of picture-book biographies by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos. This time, the spotlight's on American Founding Father Ben Franklin -- bespectacled, balding, and pint-sized -- as he figures out how to swim faster by inventing swim fins, becomes a successful author and printer, inserts an important word here and there into the Declaration of Independence, flies a kite from a church steeple in a rainstorm and invents the lightning rod... and through it all, emphasizes the importance of improving yourself with lots of practical wisdom.
Is It Any Good?
Known for his lively interest in practically everything and his nonstop quest for self-improvement, the Founding Father makes a fun, engaging addition to the Ordinary People Change the World series. Author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos are in top form in I Am Benjamin Franklin, making the most of a multitalented overachiever of his era, who never lost the joy of discovery or the urge to make things better.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.