Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin was an important statesman, inventor, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. But did you know he started the first public library in America?
Ben Franklin was always a “bookish” boy. The first book he read was the Bible at age five, and then he read every printed word in his father’s small home library. Ben wanted to read more, but books were expensive. He wanted to go to school and learn, but his family needed him to work. Despite this, Ben Franklin had lots of ideas about how to turn his love of reading and learning into something more. First he worked as a printer’s apprentice, then he set up his own printing business. Later, he became the first bookseller in Philadelphia, started a newspaper, published Poor Richard’s Almanac, and in 1731, with the help of his friends, organized the first subscription lending library, the Library Company.
Ruth Ashby’s fast-paced biography takes young readers through Franklin’s life from his spirited, rebellious youth through his successful career as an inventor and politician and finally to the last years of his life, surrounded by his personal collection of books.
“This well-designed, small-format biography gives equal weight to [Franklin’s] youthful experiences and accomplishments… an attractive and highly readable account of Franklin’s life.” ―Booklist
“Ashby’s clearly written narrative… flows smoothly and will hold the interest of children.… This small-format book will appeal to children who have read brief accounts of Franklin’s life and would like to know more about him.” ―School Library Journal
“A delightful account of the life of Ben Franklin… Interesting anecdotal stories fill the pages and keep the story interesting and compelling to read.” ―ACS Reader’s Haven
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies, Children’s Book Council, 2005
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2005
AR Level: 5.8
F&P: GRL S, Gr 4, Genre B
Themes: Benjamin Franklin, Books, Education, Libraries
BISAC 1: JUV004020 JUVENILE FICTION / Biographical / United States
BISAC 2: JUV016120 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / Colonial & Revolutionary Periods
BISAC 3: JUV047000 JUVENILE FICTION / Books & Libraries