From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6–Benjamin Franklin never died. Instead, a secret organization called the Modern Order of Prometheus, of which he was a member, placed him in suspended animation in a hidden Philadelphia cellar, to serve the nation at a later time. In the 21st century, Franklin indeed awakes, but the Prometheans are nowhere to be found. Above the cellar live a young science nerd, Victor Godwin, and his mother. Franklin, trying to understand why he has been awakened, asks to rent a room in the house. Even though he does smell a little like he has spent too much time in a cave and has a greenish complexion, Victor's mom is happy to oblige–after all, he pays the deposit in 1783 gold coins. Franklin also needs regular charges of electricity to stay alive, but when hit by lightning, he temporarily transforms into a real Franklinstein. Victor is one of the funniest nerds in children's literature. He doesn't take long to divine Franklin's secret and is off on expeditions to help him find the Prometheans while trying, with the famous inventor's help, to win top prize in the school science fair. The mock 18th-century illustrations are great fun, and readers can look forward to sequels.–Walter Minkel, Austin Public Library, TXα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Young science-whiz Victor has it all figured out. His erupting volcano has a 97 percent chance of winning the science fair (the scale-model toga-wearing fleeing Pompeians alone are worth 13 percent). What he doesn’t figure is that in the week following him finishing and displaying it, a lightning bolt will reawaken a dormant Ben Franklin, who has been sleeping in an electrical muck-filled box hidden in a secret basement for the past couple centuries. Ben had himself put into suspended animation so that he could help humanity in the future, and that’s just what he does as long as you consider running amok after imbibing too much electricity (he functions as a walking/rampaging rechargeable battery) and destroying Victor’s volcano to be helpful. It’s a light, funny read, and McElligott’s many diagrams, graphs, and drawings are a nice addition. Depending on kids’ tolerance for outlandish sciencey gobbledygook, this should be a welcome diversion to pass the hours between scoring science-fair ribbons and exploding home chemistry sets. Grades 4-7. --Ian Chipman