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Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia

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The amazing life of Ben Franklin—inventor, printer, editor, statesman, ambassador, and arguably one of the most important Americans in history—is depicted with warmth and insight.


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The amazing life of Ben Franklin—inventor, printer, editor, statesman, ambassador, and arguably one of the most important Americans in history—is depicted with warmth and insight.

30 review for Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    I read this biography aloud to my children. Until I read this book, I had no idea how brilliant Ben Franklin was! When I think of Franklin, I think about how he had flown a kite in a thunderstorm with a metal key attached to the string and felt the electric shock in his hand. I knew he invented the lightning rod and proved that electricity and lightning are identical, and I had heard of the Franklin stove, but I did not realize the extent of his inventions! He had only one year of formal educatio I read this biography aloud to my children. Until I read this book, I had no idea how brilliant Ben Franklin was! When I think of Franklin, I think about how he had flown a kite in a thunderstorm with a metal key attached to the string and felt the electric shock in his hand. I knew he invented the lightning rod and proved that electricity and lightning are identical, and I had heard of the Franklin stove, but I did not realize the extent of his inventions! He had only one year of formal education, and he is the epitome of a homeschooler! All that he learned was largely self-taught. Franklin would be a remarkable man to meet. Some of his accomplishments that I was unaware of include: invention of bifocals and the stepladder, the first to notice that the Gulf Stream was different than the surrounding waters, founded the first circulating library in America, organized the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia, and made the postal system more efficient. He was the first to diagnose lead poisoning, and he wasn't even a medical doctor! His observations regarding how colds are transmitted are consistent with what we know today about germs and viruses. What a truly extraordinary and inspiring man! As my kids noted, he seems to have invented everything! What would America be like today if he had never existed? We loved this book, and we plan to read other books in this series. MY RATING: 5 stars!! Loved it! Highly recommended!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rich Farrell

    I picked up this book because the Landmark series were dusty, old hardcovers that a couple of my friends and I loved from our elementary school library when we were in 4th and 5th grade. It gave me a good foundation of figures and events in American history, albeit in a very rosy way. I remember that Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia was one of my favorites, and I decided to give it a try now to see if it stood the test of time. (These were also books that my grandfather read as a child, so they I picked up this book because the Landmark series were dusty, old hardcovers that a couple of my friends and I loved from our elementary school library when we were in 4th and 5th grade. It gave me a good foundation of figures and events in American history, albeit in a very rosy way. I remember that Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia was one of my favorites, and I decided to give it a try now to see if it stood the test of time. (These were also books that my grandfather read as a child, so they have some history behind them.) In short, this book is still quite good, in my opinion. Yes, it makes ole' Ben out to be a great hero and spins positive even his flaws. Yes, it includes dialogue that is probably not not supported by real quotes to illustrate silly anecdotes about his life. Still, it does give a fairly complete view of his life with good vocabulary for the target age group and surprisingly even a primary source in the form of a letter written about Franklin as a block quotation toward the end. It's a pretty good model for what really good expository writing should look like for the upper elementary grades. Overall, it was entertaining and informative, and if read with a grain of salt, it gives one a general idea of the accomplishments of Franklin.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vidal Ovando

    This was a pretty good book. I learn more of Benjamin Franklin than I ever have. I learn he help draft the Declaration of Independence and help the Continental Congress. I also learned more of his inventions and the way he lived back in the 17th hundreds. I learned some of his influential people and his struggles and challenges that he had to face in his life. I recommend this book to people who like history or just need help on a project about history or Benjamin Franklin.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I love these Landmark History books for kids. We've read several so far and they are all chock full of history but written in an engaging style. The boys and I read these out loud together and frequently stop to say, "No way! That's so cool! I didn't know that!" These are a hit. I love these Landmark History books for kids. We've read several so far and they are all chock full of history but written in an engaging style. The boys and I read these out loud together and frequently stop to say, "No way! That's so cool! I didn't know that!" These are a hit.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julia Reffner

    Sonlight Core D Readaloud. Good biography, we enjoy the Landmark series. Not quite as much fun as Jean Fritz's What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? but a thorough kid's biography. Sonlight Core D Readaloud. Good biography, we enjoy the Landmark series. Not quite as much fun as Jean Fritz's What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? but a thorough kid's biography.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karin Jenkins

    This book only touches the surface of Benjamin Franklin's life, but since he had a lot of surface to cover, I'll say it's a great introductory book for children. It glazes over a few things, strangely. It talks about his marrying his wife, but I thought they never actually married. Just simple things like that which I'm conflicted about "appropriate for kids" verses truth. All well. When the kids are old enough to care to research further, then they will see some hard truths. I did make quite a This book only touches the surface of Benjamin Franklin's life, but since he had a lot of surface to cover, I'll say it's a great introductory book for children. It glazes over a few things, strangely. It talks about his marrying his wife, but I thought they never actually married. Just simple things like that which I'm conflicted about "appropriate for kids" verses truth. All well. When the kids are old enough to care to research further, then they will see some hard truths. I did make quite a list for myself of things that I want to research further. So in that sense, this is a great introductory book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Kukulski

    I would love to find a copy of this edition of the book (1963 hardcover). This is one of the books that first got me interested in history in elementary school, back in the 1980s. There was a copy of this edition in the our school library. I checked it out several times, along with many similar children's history books. While they may not provide the most complete view of history, I owe my lifelong love of the subject in part to them. I hope I can find one. I would love to find a copy of this edition of the book (1963 hardcover). This is one of the books that first got me interested in history in elementary school, back in the 1980s. There was a copy of this edition in the our school library. I checked it out several times, along with many similar children's history books. While they may not provide the most complete view of history, I owe my lifelong love of the subject in part to them. I hope I can find one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Chind

    I always knew Benjamin Franklin was a figure of history to be admired but I never knew just how well liked he was internationally by young and old alike. This Landmark Book was a good little introduction to his life from young adulthood to end. I wish there were more men like him. A good selection for my girls in their study of early American History which I read aloud to all five. Sonlight, BookShark, Memoria Press pick.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ayden

    This book talked about Benjamin Franklin before he was a part of the revolutionary war. He was a writer, postmaster, an inventor and a diplomat. It talks about his life from a kid to the revolutionary war. I think this book is great for kids learning about history. The genre of this book is non-fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marissa Hughes

    This was very informative book especially when it is a young children's book. I recommend this book to anyone who loves/likes history. This was very informative book especially when it is a young children's book. I recommend this book to anyone who loves/likes history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Candace Arnold

    Read this aloud with my 2 oldest children (14 & 10). We enjoyed learning about Ben Franklin and this book does a great job at teaching about him.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Anderson

    Loved it - very inspirational!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Evie

    Good biography for kids to read about Benjamin Franklin. Nicely organized and gives a good sense or what an incredible man he was!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A solid biography written for elementary age students that gives them a solid understanding of a founding father

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    A great overview of Franklin’s life. Read aloud during our history of science curriculum

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ava ✌🏼😌

    Read this book for school. Highly recommended. Shows how intuitive and brilliant Franklin really was.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    For younger children, I'd say 5-8. For younger children, I'd say 5-8.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David

    Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia by Margaret Cousins was a great book.This book was about Ben Franklin's life.This book talked about how Ben became who we all think of him today. Bens life story is really intersting and this book tells you a lot.However this book also leaves out some important information and extra reasarsh is needed. The author still did a good job on the book and I recommened this book to any one who really likes history Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia by Margaret Cousins was a great book.This book was about Ben Franklin's life.This book talked about how Ben became who we all think of him today. Bens life story is really intersting and this book tells you a lot.However this book also leaves out some important information and extra reasarsh is needed. The author still did a good job on the book and I recommened this book to any one who really likes history

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    from this book i learned that benjamin franklin started out with nothing. and he became one of the most famous americans in the history of our country. he taught himself many different jobs such as being a printer. he worked for his brother named james and learned a skill from him. from there he went on to thinking about how to improve the lives of people who were living during his time. he invented the franklin stove(home heating), he experimented with lightning, and invented bifocals. eventual from this book i learned that benjamin franklin started out with nothing. and he became one of the most famous americans in the history of our country. he taught himself many different jobs such as being a printer. he worked for his brother named james and learned a skill from him. from there he went on to thinking about how to improve the lives of people who were living during his time. he invented the franklin stove(home heating), he experimented with lightning, and invented bifocals. eventually he went on to be a statesmen and help wright the declaration of independence. i learned from him that there is no limit to accomplishing a goal.

  20. 4 out of 5

    The other John

    This one's a simple biography of Benjamin Franklin. Like most juvenile bios, it's pretty simplistic and positive. In the case of Ben Franklin, I think that causes the work to suffer. Franklin was a very accomplished man. Since he did so many things and space in the book is limited, the book occasionally degenerates into a list of his accomplishments, with only the most minimal story to carry it along. That alone makes the story of this most interesting man into mere waiting room material. This one's a simple biography of Benjamin Franklin. Like most juvenile bios, it's pretty simplistic and positive. In the case of Ben Franklin, I think that causes the work to suffer. Franklin was a very accomplished man. Since he did so many things and space in the book is limited, the book occasionally degenerates into a list of his accomplishments, with only the most minimal story to carry it along. That alone makes the story of this most interesting man into mere waiting room material.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a landmark book, and I'm starting to realize why these books are so highly esteemed. I read it with my 10 year old son, who loves to tinker with things. He really started to love Ben Franklin. I learned a lot about Franklin as well as an adult. (My standard for a worthy kids' book is that I enjoy reading it.) I did give it 4 stars because it jumps around a bit, focusing on an aspect of Franklin's life per chapter, instead of a smoother chronological approach. This is a landmark book, and I'm starting to realize why these books are so highly esteemed. I read it with my 10 year old son, who loves to tinker with things. He really started to love Ben Franklin. I learned a lot about Franklin as well as an adult. (My standard for a worthy kids' book is that I enjoy reading it.) I did give it 4 stars because it jumps around a bit, focusing on an aspect of Franklin's life per chapter, instead of a smoother chronological approach.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I thought this book was interesting because it told about Ben Fanklin sailing all over the world and visiting lots of countries. He was a very, very smart man. He was a genius! He made lots of really neat inventions, including the Ben Franklin iron stove and the lightning rod. Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia is a book worth reading because you will learn a lot about history and Ben Franklin. Titus 5th grade

  23. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Ruiz

    This book was a really informational book. When I was reading it all the information about Ben Franklin was more than I knew. Every time I read informational I always get bored, but this time I really liked it. If I would read any book I wouldn't really like it so this was really surprising that I enjoyed the book. I recommend this book for people who like to read Informational books or books about Ben Franklin. This book was a really informational book. When I was reading it all the information about Ben Franklin was more than I knew. Every time I read informational I always get bored, but this time I really liked it. If I would read any book I wouldn't really like it so this was really surprising that I enjoyed the book. I recommend this book for people who like to read Informational books or books about Ben Franklin.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Terrence

    Franklin, always proud of his working class roots, became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies.[6] With two partners he published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies. He became wealthy publishing Poor Richard's Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette Franklin, always proud of his working class roots, became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies.[6] With two partners he published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies. He became wealthy publishing Poor Richard's Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Barton

    This book had lots of interesting information about Ben Franklin. My son and I both learned a lot we didn't know before about Franklin's life. The writing is simple and straightforward; it is not great literature. But, we were both very engaged in the book and eager to keep reading it. So, I still gave it 4 stars. This book had lots of interesting information about Ben Franklin. My son and I both learned a lot we didn't know before about Franklin's life. The writing is simple and straightforward; it is not great literature. But, we were both very engaged in the book and eager to keep reading it. So, I still gave it 4 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vianni Richards

    Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia was a great book about Benjamin Franklin, and how he affected the world. It explained his little boy years to the years of him helping the 13 colonies become their own country. I recommend this book to people who like interesting and exciting history.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ava Thompson

    A book covering all the details of printer, inventor, and patriot, Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christi Guess

    Read this book so many times from my school library that the librarian finally (sweetly) stopped letting me check it out. She'd give me "suggestions" to get me onto other reading. :) Read this book so many times from my school library that the librarian finally (sweetly) stopped letting me check it out. She'd give me "suggestions" to get me onto other reading. :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    WSL Library

    X4

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dulci

    Very good juvenile biography of Ben Franklin. Easy to read and gives an excellent overview of his life and accomplishments, considering the age group for whom it is written.

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