How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning

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9780688169930: How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning

Ben Franklin was the most famous American in the entire world during colonial times. No wonder! After all, the man could do just about anything. Why, he was an author and an athlete and a patriot and a scientist and an inventor to boot. He even found a way to steal the lightning right out of the sky.

Is such a thing possible? Is it. Take a look inside and find Ben busy at work on every spread. Then find out how he used his discovery about lightning to make people's lives safer.

In an inventive way, Rosalyn Schanzer brings us a brilliant and ever-curious American original.

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About the Author:

Patricia Lauber is the highly acclaimed author of, among others, Volcano, a Newbery Honor Book, and Flood, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Her fascination with horses began in childhood, when she loved to read about them. She learned to ride, and at the age of twelve spent a memorable summer on a ranch in New Mexico. Patricia Lauber lives with her husband in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Rosalyn Schanzer has written and illustrated several outstanding children's books, including her How We Crossed the West, which received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and, most recently, Gold Fever! As a child, she always enjoyed reading stories about horses. By the time the artist was twelve years old, she'd read all of the Black Stallion books, by Walter Farley; then she studied the muscle structures of horses so that she could draw them herself. Rosalyn Schanzer lives with her husband, Steve, their children, Adam and Kim, and their family dog, Jones, in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

Patricia Lauber and Rosalyn Schanzer recently collaborated on The True-or-False Book of Cats, which School Library Journal called "A delightful look at the behavior of these popular pets ... A book that will frequently stray from the shelf."

From Publishers Weekly:

As with her How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark, Schanzer's lively writing and drawing style again makes history come alive. Here she gives appropriate spark to a picture-book overview of Benjamin Franklin's various inventions and scientific experiments, zeroing in on his discovery of lightning's electric power. The statement "It's true!" begins the exhilarating ride. From there the author summarizes, in a succinct and zippy style, many of Franklin's achievements as inventor, statesman, author, entrepreneur, activist, community leader and musician-a Renaissance man of boundless energy ("Didn't the man ever stop to rest?" she wonders). The artwork, a combination of vibrantly colored dyes and ink line, depicts an ebullient Franklin smiling, with his hair flying, as he flits from one role to the next. But the author devotes a significant portion of the book to Franklin's curiosity about electricity (which he believed to be found in lightning) and its potential to cause devastating fires, including the story behind Franklin's famous experiment of flying a kite with a key on its string during a thunderstorm. The compositions, which include period detail and accessible illustrated renditions of Franklin's documented projects and inventions, match the chipper tone of the text. An extensive author's note provides further information on Franklin's life and works, and spiffy endpapers reproduce diagrams and notes from Franklin's papers in Philadelphia's American Philosophical Society. This fitting tribute to a memorable leader emphasizes the playfulness that accompanies a curious mind and the boundless energy required for great accomplishments. Ages 6-12.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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