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Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares
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Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Step into Reading, Step 4)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementa ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published February 27th 2001 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2001)
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Mar 17, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beginning readers and parents reading with them
This is an entertaining story that teaches about Ben Franklin's life and his creation of a mathematical concept he called his "most magically magical magic squares." The book is actually a mix of nonfiction biography and historical fiction that hypothesizes how Mr. Franklin made his discovery.

Overall, it's a short and entertaining story that glosses over the most famous and important of Benjamin Franklin's inventions, but still offers a glimpse into the genius's prolific inventions. We really e
Stephen Stopper
Title: “Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares”
Author: Frank Murphy
Illustrator: Richard Walz
Genre: Biography (Grades K-2)
Theme(s): Mathematical Recreations, Biography, Ben Franklin, Number Games
Opening line/sentence: “Over 200 years ago, when America was just 13 colonies, there lived a super smart guy. You may have hear of him. His name was Benjamin Franklin.”
Brief Book Summary: This book begins by telling the reader who Ben Franklin was and what he did. It goes on to tell different facts about B
Oct 05, 2011 Penny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This book was a fantastic read. It covered a number of Ben Franklin's inventions in a very child friendly way. I loved the details on how the Magic Squares work at the end, as well as the true facts at the end of the book. I think it's a great read and a wonderful way to get kids interested in math and Ben Franklin at the same time!
Dean Deters
Ben franklin and the magic spuares
is the summary,
ben franklin like to fly kites when he was a 11 years old. He puts flippers on and it all started at the lake. When he was 23 years old he made newspapers. And when he was 36 years old he made a stoove every like his ideas. He never out grew his kite.

Now he's in a city. Some man walked up to Ben because they were they were proud.

Ben franklin died two hundred years ago he was allways around.

The two old men werw having a argument wile ben was slee
Alexandra Brown
Jun 30, 2015 Alexandra Brown rated it it was amazing
Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares is a quality informational text for young readers. The text allows for an short period study talking about revolutionary America, but presents the historical figure of Ben Franklin in a fun-loving and interesting way that will hook children in instantly. The book begins by highlighting many of Ben's inventions and early accomplishments. The concepts of chronology and character motivation can be a great discussion point here for students. However, the biggest ho ...more
Aug 29, 2016 Disha rated it really liked it
Loved the book for its detailed illustration as well as strong storyline. The book deals with Ben Franklin the American president and the inventor in him. The book spans over his childhood passion of creating useful stuff which also remains as a habit in him till old age. The book mainly speaks of what prompted him to find magic squares. A must for parents and kids for learning maths the fun way. The book also is informative covering the posts he held and his interests, nice way of learning a li ...more
Brittany Lee
Oct 30, 2013 Brittany Lee rated it it was amazing
Genre- Historical Fiction
Grade Level- 3-4
Awards- None

This book is a great historical fiction book for students to learn about Benjamin Franklik. Not only does this book deal with history, but it also could be used with a math lesson. This book describes Benjamins Franklin's many inventions. This book would be wonderful to share as a teacher for many reasons. This book has many activities that could possibly be used along with it. First, this would be great to have the children learn about Benjam
A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementa
Jan 18, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it
After reading other Ben Franklin books, it was nice to find a version that was written for children. My students agreed that it would be very hard to write about someone who had an amazingly interesting life and know what to include and what to leave out. This one will be a nice little quick read but lead in to some fun math exploration.
Bailee Sanders
This book is great! It takes an aspect of history and turns it into a story that is both educational and entertaining. The main purpose is leading into the math squares. I think it would be fun to read this to introduce making our own magic squares. It would be refreshing to introduce math with a story. I could fit this book into my classroom.
Kimberly Hansen
I loved this book. Great for elementary students to learn about history. The book talked about Ben Franklin, Magic Squares-math-, inventions and much more. For a child book it sure was filled with information. I would defiantly read to elementary students to further their knowledge on Ben Franklin and what he contributed to the society.
Rebecca Murphy
Feb 12, 2015 Rebecca Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Coming from one who has never been a big fan of math, this book is a fun, entertaining, and detailed read. It provides a simple look into the life of Ben Franklin that shows the possibilities of the human mind. With the detailed directions to make Franklin's "Magic Squares," this could be utilized for an interesting math lesson.
Jun 28, 2014 Rebekah rated it really liked it
Shelves: boys-favorite
I picked it up thinking my children would enjoy learning a little about a great founding father of America. it was a great story and mom and dad learned a few things too about Benjamin Franklin.
Magic squares have always hurt my brain. I just don't get them. Guess I am not logical or mathmatical.
Great book non the less
Mar 18, 2015 Erika rated it it was amazing
Checked it out from the library today. My little one has already asked me to read it to him four times. It is a great book if your kid is interested in numbers. It is also a great book for talking about how to deal with boredom.
Melissa Martin
Feb 10, 2015 Melissa Martin rated it it was amazing
This was a very insightful book. I had no idea how much Ben Franklin invented and came up with. It was very animated and easy to read and understand.
Feb 05, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sharon Norman
Shelves: child-lit
The pictures are following a fun style, and the content based on history, and there is even an interesting math problem in there.
Nov 14, 2014 Melanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: math-for-kids
My kids all really enjoyed this book and loved working with their own magic squares
Lauren Ritcey
Oct 30, 2013 Lauren Ritcey rated it liked it
Shelves: fab-40
Genre: Historical Fiction
Awards: none
Grade Level: 3-4
Comments: I would use this book when talking about great historical figures. This book is fun for the kids to read but at the same time gives them a great deal of information. I would after reading this to them have them get in groups and talk about their favorite invention of Ben Franklin, and then what they thought of the magic square. After reading I would have them each pick an invention and then look up more information it with their grou
This is definitely an advanced easy reader book. The text/vocabulary is harder than most, but not too difficult for students. Through this story we learn how Ben Franklin discovered his magic squares as well as several of his numerous other inventions
A funny true story about Ben Franklin and one of his lesser known creations, the magic square. It describes many of Franklin's other great accomplishments as well during the course of the story.
Jun 30, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this with my daughter. A good introduction for her to what a well-rounded, educated and interesting man Benjamin Franklin was. It's also a fun way to look at math in story form.
Dec 14, 2009 Bear rated it liked it
He made a game where you have to find out two different numbers to put together to make one number and then three others to make the same number.
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it liked it
This whole series is a good introduction to famous folks at a casual level
Feb 07, 2011 z.diddy rated it did not like it
It was kinda boring at first, but it was okay. Magic squares sound like fun.
Feb 29, 2016 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads, 3-stars
Very good book. I thought this was a super funny story.
Jan 21, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
Perfect segue into mathematics (specifically sudoku).
Kathy E.
Feb 04, 2011 Kathy E. rated it it was amazing
A perfect intro to Ben for my 7 year old.
Jan 05, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
teacher edition
loisa added it
Oct 17, 2016
Lena Time
Lena Time rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2016
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