From School Library Journal
Grades 4-8--It is appropriate that a man who loved reading and established the first subscription library in America should be the subject of such a stellar book. From printer (his favorite title) to husband and father to scientist to military general to diplomat, "Le Grand Franklin" is hereby presented in all of his wise glory as well as in his humble pride. His incredible life flies by in a flurry of accomplishment, with readers hardly noticing the years passing, or that they are learning an interesting and important part of history. The many black-and-white repro-ductions, some from the man's own hand, complement the typeface, which was used in productions from Franklin's Philadelphia press. The source notes put most series biographies to shame. With its chronologies, map, index, diverse bibliography, and helpful Web sites, this is a solid research tool. Franklin's maxims and passages from his Pennsylvania Gazette are generously spread throughout the text, and readers will develop an appreciation for who this person was in his own time and what he means to the United States in our day. Adler doesn't miss a beat in his first biography for this age level, which is perhaps the best so far of a man who, he suggests, may have been "our greatest American."-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Gr. 4-8. The title of this lively biography refers to the epitaph Franklin wrote for himself as a young man. In no way does it limit the scope of Adler's subject, which surveys Benjamin Franklin's life as a printer, a scientist, an inventor, a writer, and a statesman. Adler discusses Franklin in the context of his times, offering insights into his personal life as well as his varied interests and his considerable contributions to his city and, later, his country. Throughout the book, details, anecdotes, and quotations bring the man's portrait into clearer focus, while period illustrations, facsimiles of documents, and excerpts from Franklin's The Pennsylvania Gazette
help readers envision the background of his times. The excellent book design includes the use of a typeface favored by Franklin, which gives a period flavor while remaining quite readable. Back matter includes chronologies of Franklin's life and contemporary American history, unusually detailed and informative source notes, illustration credits, and annotated lists of recommended books and Web sites. An intriguing portrait of a many-faceted man. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved