by Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Published 2014 by Calkins Creek Books
Review copy provided by the publisher
As a teacher of The American Revolution, I love learning about our founding fathers. I knew Ben Franklin was a talented inventor, of course, but I did not know much about him as a child. This book shows Frankin as an eleven-year-old who loved to swim even though swimming for sport was not popular at the time. Young Ben asked himself lots of questions. One question was "What can't I swim like a fish?" This led him to study how fish swim and to his first invention, "swim fins"!
I think this book would be a valuable model of the scientific process. He took a question, studied his subjects, designed a prototype and modified that design based on his trials. Ben was just a regular, curious kid and I think children will be able to relate to him and find his story to be inspirational.
There is a nice timeline of Franklin's life and an author's note at the end of the book.
Use this book....
*as a model of the scientific process.
*as part of a study of American history.
*as part of a biography unit.
*before a unit on inventions.