What's The Big Idea, Ben Franklin?
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What's The Big Idea, Ben Franklin?

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  402 ratings  ·  31 reviews
No matter how busy he was, Ben Franklin always found time to try out new ideas and he was also a man of many talents. He was also an ambassador to England, a printer, an almanac maker, a politician, and even a vegetarian (for a time).

Paperback, 48 pages
Published May 7th 1996 by Puffin (first published 1976)
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Shannon
My kids and I both wound up liking this a lot more than we thought we would. We had several important non-fiction conversations around the book. We talked about the fact that it's important to look at when a book is published, because although non-fiction means Not Fake, it doesn't mean we can believe EVERYTHING we read in nonfiction books at face value. For example, this book was printed in 1975. Researchers have learned a lot more about Ben Franklin since 1975.

We also had a talk about the myth...more
Emily Holter
I enjoyed this biography on Benjamin Franklin. This story included so many interesting facts and stories about his life that even I was learning as I read along! This book could be used in a 4-6 grade classroom, as for it is long, has little amounts of illustrations, and some concepts are hard to grasp.

The main thing about this book is, it's interesting! It goes with a flow, from Benjamin Franklin's birth until the very end of his life. You learn about Benjamin's family, for instance; his father...more
library_jim
Wonderful, except for the horrible cover and the perpetuation of the lightening-struck kite myth.
Evette
Genre: Biography
What’s the big idea: Benjamin Franklin?
Summary: This is a non-fiction junior book about the life of Benjamin Franklin. It informs the reader of his important discoveries, inventions and even his travels. Although the information is brief, it provides enough detail about his life to spark the interest of young readers.
a) Area for comment: accuracy
Critique:
b) The strength of this title is the accuracy of the information. Though it is written for children, the information about Benj...more
Stacey
LIBS 642 Bookshelf - (Kimmel)
Genre – Biography

Summary:
This story begins with Ben Franklin being born in Boston and his childhood. A man of many talents he was always ready to try out new ideas. Learn about his many inventions and his contribution to the American Revolution.

A) Content
B) This book is crammed full with different inventions of Franklin’s that he had started from ideas. Fritz is able to provide the reader with an overall synopsis of the man, Ben Franklin, without being overwhelming....more
Kelley
Critique- Junior Book/Biography

The story of Benjamin Franklin's life. It begins with his birth in Boston, to his numerous inventions, and his important contributions during the American Revolution.

a. Illustrations
b. Margot Tomes is the illustrator for this book, and has worked with the author Jean Fritz on many of her books. The illustrations are simple, sometimes humorous, drawings. The simplicity of the lines and colors, along with the humor assist the author’s work of providing an entertaini...more
Cheryl Wright
1. Genre: Biography
2. Summary: This brief biography book leads readers through the intriguing life of Benjamin Franklin. Readers will learn about Benjamin Franklin's accomplishments, including why he is known as a man of many trades, and important roles he played in early American history.
3. Critique
a. Accurate
b. The author did a wonderful job including just enough factual and interesting information about Benjamin Franklin to keep young readers engaged. Being that Franklin is a well-known fam...more
Darlene
I read this biography aloud to my children. It is recommended for ages 8-11, but even my 4 year-old enjoyed it.

Fritz presents factual information in such a way that it is entertaining and fun! This is the second biography that we've read about Benjamin Franklin, and we think that he is the most remarkable historical figure! His inventions single-handedly changed America! From establishing the first circulating library to organizing Philadelphia's fire department, he is a truly brilliant man espe...more
Katharine
Jean Fritz's biographies are the best! They are humorous, well researched and interesting! I wish we had the time to read all of them!
Vivian
This slim volume (just 48 pages, including a "notes" page) barely skims the surface of the output of this amazing man. (Hence the 3 stars). However, ANY introduction to Ben is better than NO introduction. (Hence the 3 stars).
Jingqiu Chen
A good book for the younger readers just starting to learn about American History -- not too long and not too dry.
Samantha
A biography on one of America's founding fathers. This bio is set up to be read cover to cover rather than just in sections. Included are all of Franklin's big achievements framed in text that describes Franklin's personality and mannerisms.

Illustrations help break text into manageable chunks and illustrate key moments in Franklin's life. Grades 3-5.
Heather
We all really enjoyed this book. Although we had read a few other Benjamin Franklin books before this, we still found some new things about him. Fritz is a concise but fun writer with a bit of a sarcastic streak here and there. It certainly held my boys' attention. A good addition to an elementary study of Franklin's life and accomplishments.
Lilly Fife
I loved this book! It was for my schooling though. Butt still, I learned so much about how important Benjamin Franklin is. He made the first ever stove, discovered electricity, went to France to try to get he French on there side for the American Revolutionary War. It is such a great children's book.
Mr. Steve
Very quick read (48 pages). Fritz does a very entertaining portrayal of Benjamin Franklin's life - written at a level for 2nd and 3rd graders to understand, but with enough information for middle school students to use as a point of research. Take a bow, Ms. Fritz.
Amahni Quick
it told a lot of talented things about him like his'adventures
Lisa
I have never read a book by Jean Fritz that I was not absolutely delighted by! I read them all to my children, and I think I might have enjoyed them the most! Jean Fritz has found a delightful and entertaining way to teach children history.
Tammy
This was an interesting read. I sure wouldn't have wanted to Benjamin's wife, Debbie, though! I wouldn't want to be living in America while my husband was living in London for YEARS!
Vicky
Apr 22, 2012 Vicky added it
Shelves: library-books
I have enjoyed all of Jean Fritz's books, I think I know all about a person she has written about, but she has ALWAYS found some small bit of information that I find fascinating.
Nicole Flores
This is a children's book about the wonderful Ben Franklin and his intriguing life. I woul use this book to teach the children about Ben Frankling and all the things that he did.
Deborah Harris
Dec 15, 2013 Deborah Harris added it
Shelves: a2, ar-5
RL 3.30

AR Quiz No. 5445 EN Nonfiction
Accelerated Reader Quiz Information IL: MG - BL: 5.5 - AR Pts: 1.0
Accelerated Reader Quiz Type Information AR Quiz Types: RP, VP
Melissa
Nice Biography of Benjamin Franklin. We read this for my son's history. Looking forward to reading some other books like this from Jean Fritz.
Danielle
The kids really liked this simple reader,it made for good dinnertime converstaion, and now I've got material for writing class this week, yeah!
Amy
Not so much Revolutionary, but Bea was in to Mr. Franklin as well. Another great biography by Fritz - we pretty much love them all.
Gwhitworth
Good trade book for social studies on the life of Ben Franklin... a lot of information...probably best for 2nd-4th graders
Penny
Very informative and entertaining. Fritz is a wonderful writer of historical events. Keeps listeners' attention!
Caren
A good brief, not detailed account of Franklin. Still a good choice for younger grades.
Anne
Jan 15, 2014 Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids
Recommended to Anne by: Sonlight
Shelves: sonlight-books
Short, simple, and factual. A good easy read for an intro to Ben Franklin.
Nathalie
It's great to read bout benjamin franklin, one of our founding fathers.
Skye
Cute book. Gives lots of facts about a fascinating man.
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Jean Fritz is a children’s author who has a fascination with writing historical fictions. She was born on November 16, 1915, in Hankow, China to missionary parents. After living in China for 13 years, Fritz and her family moved back to the United States. Beginning her career with an English degree, Fritz became an award-winning and respected author. She has received an honor for every book that sh...more
More about Jean Fritz...
Homesick: My Own Story The Cabin Faced West And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? The Great Little Madison

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