Cover image for Ben Franklin's almanac : being a true account of the good gentleman's life
Title:
Ben Franklin's almanac : being a true account of the good gentleman's life
Author:
Fleming, Candace.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
ix, 120 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
Summary:
Brings together eighteenth century etchings, artifacts, and quotations to create the effect of a scrapbook of the life of Benjamin Franklin.
General Note:
"An Anne Schwartz book."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1000 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.0 7.0 70712.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.2 10 Quiz: 34064 Guided reading level: X.
Genre:
ISBN:
9780689835490
Format :
Book

Available:*

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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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E302.6.F8 F55 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

"What good shall I do today?"
How Ben Franklin answered that question -- through his work as a writer, printer, statesman, and inventor -- forever established him as one of America's greatest figures. On one day in 1729 he published the first edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette; on another day he changed the Declaration of Independence by adding the famous words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident"; and it was all in a day's work when he planted the first willow trees in America.
Modeled on his own Poor Richard's Almanack, this unique scrapbook captures Franklin's countless accomplishments. Biography and anecdote, cartoon and etching mesh to create a fascinating portrait of this most fascinating man. Anyone interested in the birth of American democracy...or curious about the rise of the U.S. postal system...or wondering how paper money came to be...or wanting to know how Ben Franklin was part of it all, is sure to pore over Ben Franklin's Almanac.


Author Notes

In addition to studying Ben, Fleming has written numerous books for children


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. There's no shortage of books on Franklin, but this biography, which springs from Fleming's lifelong fascination with the multitalented man, is unlike anything that has come before, and it bears no resemblance to Fleming's picture-book work. Designed more like a scrapbook than an almanac, it's a visually rich but densely packed amalgamation of anecdotal narrative, boxed insets, black-and-white reproductions of period documents and artwork, and material obtained from Franklin's personal papers--all organized into topical chapters on Franklin's family life, writings, scientific pursuits, and political involvement. The whole gives an excellent sense of the time in which Franklin lived, but the thematic organization here sacrifices continuity and leaves occasional gaps. The science section is perhaps the best as it falls neatly into invention-specific discussions. Lively anecdotes greatly expand the main text, and numerous quotes by and about Franklin give the man a truly human face, even as they raise questions that continue to puzzle historians. A fitting tribute to a "good gentleman" whose life was well and energetically lived. Web sites and further readings are appended. --Stephanie Zvirin Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Fleming (The Hatmaker's Sign: A Story by Benjamin Franklin) apes the design of Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack with her clever format here, to "illuminate each of the many facets" of her subject (as the author states in a foreword). Organized into chapters on larger themes, such as "Boyhood Memories" and "Tokens of a Well-Lived Life," the handsome oblong volume offers concise, engaging "bits and pieces" that both offer a broader context for Franklin's life events and specific insights into his character. For example, a piece called "The War Before" (in the "Revolutionary Memorabilia" section) describes how the aftermath of the French and Indian War helped fuel the colonists' anger and pave the way for the Revolutionary War; and an account in "Souvenirs from France" tells how Franklin outwitted spies to force a French alliance in that war. Throughout, pen-and-ink portraits, black-and-white etchings, humorous cartoons and facsimiles of newspaper and book pages (including his own Pennsylvania Gazette and Almanack help bring the man and his time to life. A generous peppering of primary source material allows Franklin's wit and personality-and contradictions-to emerge. Franklin sings the praises of his wife, Deborah, in a poem ("Of their Chloes and Phillisses poets may prate/ I sing of my plain country Joan/ Now twelve years my wife, still the joy of my life/ Blest day that I made her my own") yet for the last 17 years of her life, the two were separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Fleming's carefully chosen details shine light on Franklin's roles, from postmaster of Philadelphia, "president of Pennsylvania" and national abolitionist, to inventor, editor of the Declaration of Independence and experimenter with electricity. An opening timeline helps keep the chronology straight (an index is provided, too). While the volume's layout encourages readers to dip in and out, Fleming delivers a cohesive and complex portrait of a brilliant, productive and shrewd man who helped shape this country. Ages 10-14. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

A unique approach to biography allows Fleming to create a fascinating scrapbook of this multifaceted man's life and accomplishments. Excerpts of Franklin's writings, a time line, reproductions of documents, cartoons, and sketches enhance this intriguing account. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Courteous Readerp. IV
A Year-by-Year Look at Ben's Lifep. VI
Boyhood Memoriesp. 2
The Family Albump. 14
The Writer's Journalp. 22
Tokens of a Well-Lived Lifep. 34
The Scientist's Scrapbookp. 46
Revolutionary Memorabiliap. 58
Souvenirs From Francep. 78
Final Remembrancesp. 94
Bibliographyp. 106
Picture Sourcesp. 108
Books About Ben for Young Readersp. 114
Web Sites About Benp. 115
Indexp. 116