Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker's Son Helped Light the Flame of Liberty

by Russell Freedman

Seventeen-year-old Ben Franklin's arrival in Philadelphia after running away from... read more

Seventeen-year-old Ben Franklin's arrival in Philadelphia after running away from his job as a printer's apprentice at his brother's Boston shop opens this biography of a man who seemed able to successfully talk his way through almost every situation in which he landed. That event sets the stage for demonstrating the important role his charismatic personality played in Franklin's life successes, both professionally and politically in this intriguing biography. Author Russell Freedman accentuates Franklin's range of skills as a business person, inventor, writer, politician, and ambassador, all propelled by his intellectual curiosity and social savvy. At first a supporter of British rule, Franklin is transformed into a committed leader in the drive for American independence, although it results in estrangement from his son William. It also takes him far from home for extended stays in Europe, where he was living at the time of his wife's death. Numerous art reproductions add visual interest to almost every page of this handsomely designed volume, which also includes a timeline and bibliography. (Ages 9-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

show less