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Noah Webster and His Words

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  512 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction

Webster’s American Dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English. But who was that Webster? Noah Webster (1758–1843) was a bookish Connecticut farm boy who became obsessed with uniting America through language. He spent twenty years writing two thousand pages to accomplish that, and the first 100 percent American diction
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Outstanding. The writing is clear, conversational, funny, and the text is very well organized & flows wonderfully through the facts of Webster's life. Ferris uses the convention of adding definitions in-line throughout the book, which is an inspired touch, but what I especially appreciate is how she carefully puts Webster's life and work in the greater context of the birth of the nation: Webster's dream was not just to correct everyone's spelling. He believed that having a consistent, unifie ...more
Delightful! The story of America's most famous lexicographer, and how he worked to unite the newly independent states through an American language. Dad wanted him to be a farmer, but Yale was where a 15 year old Noah wanted to be. Interesting facts about his life (he lived for a time in Amherst and helped found Amherst College!) and his work to create the ubiquitous dictionary that bears his name. Nice addition to a study of the Revolutionary era, or for a discussion of words, definitions and sp ...more
Jennifer Steinbach
Feb 07, 2015 Jennifer Steinbach rated it it was amazing

This is a fun, insightful biography about the life of Noah Webster, the man who wrote the first 100 percent American dictionary. As a child, he was expected to grow up and be a farmer because all the men in his family were farmers, but Noah wanted to be a scholar. He graduated from college and became a teacher, which is when he really started thinking about the importance of reading materials and language. He wanted to unite America through the creation of an American dictionary. This p
Alex Baugh
Dec 05, 2014 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
So many times, I am sitting here writing a post and find myself needing to double check the definition of a word I am about to use. So I go to my trusty dictionary and look it up. What would I ever do with my Webster's Dictionary? But who is this Webster guy?

Born in Connecticut in 1758, by the time Noah Webster was a boy of 12, his father wanted him to become a farmer and follow in his footsteps. But Noah didn't want to farm, he wanted to go the school and study. Luckily for the world, his fathe
Feb 12, 2015 Jeimy rated it liked it
I liked this book, but after "The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus", this book pales in comparison.
Edward Sullivan
Clever, playful introduction to the man and his accomplishments.
Bethany Daley
Apr 08, 2016 Bethany Daley rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
Despite not being a big biography book fan, I really enjoyed reading this book. The pictures are interesting and I love that there are definitions of words included throughout this story that narrates Noah Webster’s life. This is an enjoyable and insightful read that I would encourage my own students to read.

I would use this book in my classroom if my students were working on learning about people from the past or were reading autobiographies and biographies of famous people. This book might al
Word-lovers owe quite a lot to Noah Webster, the topic of this brief picture book biography about the father of the American dictionary. Disinterested in farming, Noah persuaded his father to send him to Yale so that he could become a scholar. Once he finished there, he began teaching and wrote a spelling book, a grammar book, and a reading book. His big project, though, the one that made his name so well known was his ambitious 20-year labor to write the first American dictionary complete with ...more
Amy Forrester
Nov 19, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
You’ve probably consulted his most famous book, The American Dictionary of the English Language, but have you ever stopped to think about why Noah Webster wrote his dictionary? This lively and well-researched picture book biography follows Webster’s journey to unite the country with words. Before Webster came along Americans spelled the same word in many different ways. Although it took him over twenty years of writing, researching, and editing, Webster’s efforts were not in vain. His dictionary ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
CHARM-ING (adjective: delightful or fascinating) historical themed biography of Noah Webster and how he united America through a common language by creating the “second most popular book ever printed in English”, the Webster’s Dictionary. Amusing ink and watercolor illustrations take the reader back in time. Dictionary-style word definitions are cleverly woven throughout the text. Literacy and social studies classroom applications abound, supplemented by a timeline at the back of the book as wel ...more
A nice introduction into the life of Noah Webster. Of course many students don't appreciate his contribution to America :). Webster's first book was the blue covered Speller, which taught students how to spell correctly in the US (not British spelling). This book was the first American Textbook.

Of course Mr. Webster is mostly known for Webster's American Dictionary, which took him over seven years to write.

A cute book full of definitions with just the right amount of information about this man
Nov 04, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
This patriotic picture book biography tells the story of Noah Webster, a man who believed that education was of the utmost importance for the youth of his new nation. The narrative details how he came to write one the second most popular books ever printed in English—Webster’s Dictionary. Defined words in a dictionary format are sprinkled throughout the narrative—great for introducing reference conventions. Additionally, themes of patriotism, freedom, and the importance of education, help make t ...more
Jalynn Patterson
Jun 25, 2015 Jalynn Patterson rated it it was amazing
About the Book:
Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction

Webster’s American Dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English. But who was that Webster? Noah Webster (1758–1843) was a bookish Connecticut farm boy who became obsessed with uniting America through language. He spent twenty years writing two thousand pages to accomplish that, and the first 100 percent American dictionary was published in 1828 when he was seventy years old. This clever, hilariously illustrated account shines a
Katheryn Campbell
Ferris, J. C., & Kirsch, V. X. (2012). Noah Webster and his words. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Children’s Books.

Citation by: Katheryn Campbell

Reference: Biography

Call Number: could not be found

Content Scope: This is a kid-friendly biography of Noah Webster, the creator of the second most popular book printed in English, Webster's American Dictionary. It provides a hilarious, illustrated chronology of Webster's life and how he would not rest until he fulfilled his dream.

May 31, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
A very kid-friendly biography about Noah Webster, the author of the first American speller and dictionary. The language is simple enough for students in lower elementary school while still being packed with facts for report writing. If David Adler's picture book biographies are an important part of your nonfiction collection, this is a necessary addition. The illustrations were charming and quirky enough to be interesting. Recommended for students in grades 2 - 4.
Michelle Schnell
Mar 29, 2014 Michelle Schnell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Twin Text: 13 Words by Lemony Snicket, @ 2010

Rationale: I selected Lemony Snicket’s book 13 Words to accompany the nonfiction account of how Noah Webster wrote the first American dictionary because it is fun! In the Webster book the author, Ferris, uses and defines words such as “confidence” and “scholar” and “convinced” and “expensive” and “soared” as he tells Webster’s story. He explains how Webster contributed to the making of America by writing the first American school books and encouraging
Apr 01, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
A picture book biography about the author of the dictionary. From birth to death, readers are introduced to a man who was passionate about the acquisition of knowledge and being an American.

Scholarly words are defined in text (think Fancy Nancy, but laid out like in a dictionary). Illustrations have an old-timey feel to them. A timeline and list of sources used is also included.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 18, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was amazing
Shelves: word-play
This book barely made it in under the wire, but I'm happy it did arrive in time for me to read it for the Cybils. The charm of this book is the novel way Ferris tells Webster's story, using big words that are written like dictionary entries. Absolutely cap·ti·vating [kap-tuh-veyt] 1. to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant.
Leslie Lindsay
Nov 08, 2014 Leslie Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Who can't love a book about words?! Not I. But then again, without Noah Webster to catalogue and decipher them, we may not have *this* book, either.

Delightful for just about anyone, from teachers and parents and kids, to those young at heart, NOAH WEBSTER AND HIS WORDS is a true gem, highlighting not just history but also a love for the written word. What I found that really stands out with this book is the way the author has pulled several words away from the text to highlight their definition
I really enjoyed reading this book. The kids will love this great picture book. This books tells Noah's journey through life and he tries to reach this goal. Noah Webster is a man who believed that education was the utmost importance for the youth of his new nation. Jeri Chase Ferris details on how he came to write this important book in English which is the Webster Dictionary. As a child, Noah was expected to be a farmer because all of the men in his family were farmers, but her wanted to be a ...more
Becky B
A picture book biography of Noah Webster that highlights his contributions to America in the books he published (and also mentions other major events in his life). Fitting to the man being told about, certain words are defined in the text. A timeline, more info on the author, and a decent bibliography listing primary and secondary sources on Webster are included at the back of the book.

This is a great succinct biography of Noah Webster that focuses on the facts but presents the information in te
Kristen Sawyer
We have Webster to thank for making words easier to spell and read. We can also thank Webster for being the father of modern education. This is a picture book that tells the story of Webster. When children are learning about words and meanings of words and dictionaries, this book will complement the lessons. It’s funny as well as informative (for example, an image of Webster with a big head is included in the story of how he was very self-confident). Definitions of words are included in the text ...more
Mrs. Tongate
A must read-aloud for all ages, even secondary, when working on definitions. Noah Webster, at 15 years old, entered and graduated from Yale. Noah Webster, the father of the dictionary, was 70 years old when the American Dictionary of the English Language was published. He worked for over 20 years on this work of art. Remember he did this all by hand too! Noah Webster's dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English, after the Bible. It is in every library, most homes, schools ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Noah Webster and His Words is a biography about Noah Webster, the first person to invent the American Dictionary. This story follows Webster's life and decisions leading up to the creation of the first American Dictionary. Part of his life story took place during the Revolutionary war. This book can be paired with books about the Revolutionary War to show students what that there were other things happening during this time other than just the war. It can also be paired with grammar and spelling ...more
Meghan Coffey
Feb 07, 2014 Meghan Coffey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In this picture book version of Noah Webster's biography, the art was really fun! It kept my attention and it still felt like a kid's picture book. Also, I really liked learning about Webster since he has always seemed like this shadowy, mysterious personage behind the dictionary. Knowing more about him set me more at ease, if you will. Also, definitions of harder words were included into the story and I felt like that was a great learning tool, especially for kids who may not know what those wo ...more
Richie Partington
Nov 05, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: NOAH WEBSTER & HIS WORDS by Jeri Chase Ferris and Vincent X. Kirsch, ill., Houghton Mifflin, October 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-547-39055-0

I’d like to have a word with you about Noah Webster.

“There are so many different words they do all kinds of things
Some can make us laugh and smile while others hurt and sting
We get to choose the words we use each and every day
So when it's time to use a word be careful what you say”
-- Red and Kathy Grammer, “Use a Word”

“Why ban a word when you
From reading this, I'd like to say I see Noah Webster as a kindred spirit.

He loved words, loves people, loved dancing, loved reading and writing. He loved his country and show this love by writing an American grammar/speller after the Revolutionary War. Then he spend twenty years creating a dictionary because America deserved one of its own. That's how he brought people together: with words.

Will work as a NF readaloud [3nd on up], a lesson on biographies, or an introduction or lesson on dictiona
In 1758, Noah did not want to be a farmer. He wanted to be a SCHOL-AR [noun; one who goes to school;a person who knows a lot]. Borrowing money from his father, Noah went to college, graduated, and became a teacher. While teaching, Noah realized that American students did not have textbooks or spelling books of their own, everything was still taught and spelled the way it was in England. Noah knew that in order for the new, independent, America to succeed, everyone needed to U-NITE [verb: make on ...more
Ying Lee
Genre: Biography
Copyright: 2012

Born at a time when America belonged to the England and growing up during the Revolutionary War, Noah Webster didn't want to be a farmer as his father; instead, he wanted to go to school. After graduating from college, Noah became a schoolteacher, which inspired him to write schoolbooks for his students -- American (not England) schoolbooks. The independence of America gave Noah ideas to create a spelling book with a conception that uniting the way Americans spell
Karrie K
Name: Karrie Kennett

Title and Citation:
Ferris, J. C., & Kirsch, V. X. (2012). Noah Webster and his words. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Children’s Books.

Type of Reference: Biographical Reference

Brief Description: This book is a child-friendly biographical account of Noah Webster. Illustrated with cartoon like characters, it tells the biographical story of young Noah as he grows to publish his dictionary.

Citation of a Review:
Chipman, I. (2012). Noah Webster and his words. [Review of the boo
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